Number of Crypto License Applications in Hong Kong is Growing

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In the past two months, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong has received 18 applications for a virtual asset trading license from both local and international players.

Among the applicants are companies such as Huobi HK,, OKX, Bybit, and DFX Labs, all of which applied for the license starting from mid-November 2023.

As part of the licensing process, all applicants must undergo thorough due diligence checks, including a comprehensive financial audit that goes beyond just verifying reserves.

This has resulted in some Web3 companies having to spend up to $25 million in order to meet the requirements for the license. The recent clarity provided by the Hong Kong regulator in relation to exchange licensing has also attracted traditional brokerages like Chinese stock brokerage Tiger Brokers.

In January, the brokerage upgraded its Type 1 SFC license to include the trading of cryptocurrencies for professional investors and financial institutions in Hong Kong.

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