BitMEX Looks to Gain Virtual Asset Provider License in Hong Kong

BitMEX says it is ready to apply for a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license in Hong Kong. The license is available under Hong Kong’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Ordinance 2022.

BitMEX which has endured several rocky years – most recently firing its former CEO Alexander Höptner – who is now suing the company for wrongful termination, is now being led by Stephan Lutz, Acting CEO & Group CFO at BitMEX.

BitMEX says it is “fully committed” to embracing the Hong Kong regulatory regime with an updated app ready to download beginning on May 29, 2023. The new app will allow users to trade crypto as well as move funds into fiat currency.

Lutz says that historically Hong Kong has been a popular location for crypto innovation and also where one of the founders conceived of BitMEX – once a top crypto derivatives trading platform.

“We believe the SFC’s regulatory framework marks a significant milestone for our industry as it will provide standards for virtual assets that are crucial for this fast-growing asset class. We are delighted to see the administration’s commitment to building a Web3 digital economy, one that begins with establishing clear guardrails and regulations. We are optimistic that Hong Kong will achieve its ambition of becoming a world-leading Web3 role model city and potentially the Web3 hub for China in years to come,” said Lutz. He added that they believe Hong Kong will emerge as a top Web 3 hub for China.

While crypto is illegal in mainland China, public authorities have taken a more accepting approach to digital assets in Hong Kong – perhaps in recognition of the need to allow entrepreneurial innovation. Just recently, Hong Kong announced an update on its central bank digital currency, the e-HKD – which may make its way into retail use. Still, Hong Kong is firmly under the control of mainland China which can change direction at any time and little opposition.

As for BitMEX, it has been reported that it endured significant cost reduction last year as crypto markets tanked. Hong Kong may be its best path for growth as it struggles to regain past prominence.

 

 


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