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Hong Kong’s Expensive Crypto Exchange Licenses

Hong Kong Crypto Exchange Licenses

Unlike the $25 million seen annually, Hong Kong crypto exchange licenses are costing applicants several million dollars—a far cry.

Chief operating officer of HashKey Group Livio Wang told the Financial Times in an interview that the crypto exchange licenses are “not necessarily tens of millions of dollars, but definitely tens of millions of Hong Kong dollars.”

He clarified, “The costs corresponding to the stage of preparing license review materials are different from those of the operation stage.” He said even more:

“For HashKey, which is already in operation, our investment in the entire exchange sector is indeed tens of millions of dollars, but it is not expected to be so much for a platform that is still in the licensing stage.”

With criminal fines for noncompliance, Hong Kong authorities have banned all unregistered crypto exchanges in the East Asian city as of June 1. More than 11 companies have the “deemed to be licensed” classification right now. There are just two fully licensed exchanges as of last year: OSL and HashKey.

Related: Hong Kong SFC Urges VATPs to Secure Licenses Amidst Growing Crypto Market

According to Wang’s interview, HashKey Exchange today oversees $500 million in customer assets and has enabled $440 billion in total transactions since its inception.

The blockchain executive said: “Our number of activated customers this week exceeded last week by 267%; the number of newly activated customers more than tripled.”

Inspired by Coinbase, HashKey established a worldwide exchange for foreign customers out of Bermuda in April. Unlike its equivalent in Hong Kong, which was the first to obtain a license to operate in the area, HashKey Global will not service Hong Kong, China, the United States, or a host of other areas.

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Last year, the implementation of Hong Kong’s exchange licensing policy was slowed down as an unlicensed crypto exchange, JPEX, managed to defraud investors out of $166 million before collapsing in September 2023 despite current laws.

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