Julia Leung Fung-yee, the new CEO of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), has clarified that retail traders in the region will only have access to highly liquid cryptocurrencies to safeguard them from market risks.
Hong Kong SFC clarifies stance on retail crypto trading
Barely 48 hours after Hong Kong Financial Secretary, Paul Chan hinted at the city’s ambition to transform itself into a hotbed for bitcoin (BTC) linked startups and fintech firms, Julia Leung Fung-yee, the CEO of the region’s securities watchdog has made it clear that there will be robust safeguards for retail investors.
Speaking at a panel during the Asian Financial Forum held in Hong Kong on Jan. 11, Leung reiterated that digital assets trading by retail investors will come with strict restrictions, giving these traders access to only deeply liquid products.
However, the newly-appointed SFC CEO did not mention the exact types of cryptocurrencies that will be available to retail investors.
Amenable crypto regulation and Safeguards
Leung made it clear that the securities watchdog will release a consultation paper before the end of Q1 2023, detailing the cryptoasset products retail investors will have exposure to, as well as the licensing requirements for digital assets service providers in the region.
“Some virtual assets platforms support more than 2,000 cryptoassets, but we do not plan to allow retail investors to trade in all of them,” she stated, adding “We will set the criteria that would allow retail investors to trade only major virtual assets.”
While China has since banned all things crypto within its shores, though recent reports have it that the country may soon make a comeback into the Web3 space, Hong Kong has maintained a liberal stance towards the nascent digital assets class in recent times.
As reported by crypto.news last Dec., Hong Kong authorities introduced licenses for crypto exchanges, as part of plans towards becoming a hotspot for innovative technologies.
Now, Leung has stated categorically that the city plans to put in place a robust regulatory framework designed to foster investor protection, while also enhancing its appeal as a virtual assets hub.
The proposed regulations will make it mandatory for crypto-related businesses in Hong Kong to have proper risk management measures, internal controls, anti-cyber attack solutions, and solid customer fund management systems that will guard against the infamous Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX-type implosions.