OKX cryptocurrency exchange has entered the final stage of obtaining a virtual asset service provider license (VASP) in Hong Kong. The cryptocurrency exchange expects the VASP license to receive final approval in March 2024.

in a interviewLi Zhikai, the global chief commercial officer of OKX, said that he is actively talking with banks and is currently waiting for the group to issue a license and open for business. Encrypted exchanges have started technical docking and other preparations.

Hong Kong became a pro-cryptocurrency country in 2023 and announced a licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges to provide services to retail clients. While more than 80 cryptocurrency companies initially expressed interest in opening offices in the country, only a handful of cryptocurrency platforms such as HashKey and OSL have received the licenses needed to launch retail cryptocurrency trading services.

HashKey began providing retail cryptocurrency trading services to users in Hong Kong on August 28. Regulators in the country are only opening bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) trading to retail customers in an effort to reduce the risks involved in investing in new cryptocurrency tokens. The rules also put a 30% cap on investors, allowing them to invest only one-third of their net income.

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In addition to HashKey and OSL, Huobi and Gate.io have also applied for retail cryptocurrency trading services and are awaiting regulatory approval. Previously, a Gate.io executive shared Hong Kong’s regulatory experience and told Cointelegraph that compared with other regulators, the Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission has stricter requirements for virtual asset service providers. Regulators are mandating requirements for cryptocurrency platforms to provide insurance and compensation arrangements to help protect customers. In addition to this, cryptocurrency exchanges must store 98% of their assets in cold wallets.

Cointelegraph reached out to OKX for its views on Hong Kong’s retail market regulatory experience and expectations, but did not immediately hear back.

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