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Hong Kong’s First Licensed Crypto Platform Goes Live

Just one week after Singapore saw its first mainstream crypto foray by DBS, Hong Kong mirrors the city-state’s move by issuing a license to BC Technology Group’s OSL Digital Securities.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a Type 1 (dealing in securities) and Type 7 (automated trading services) license to OSL, according to a statement, making it the first licensed digital asset platform in the city.

The platform will provide prime brokerage, custody, exchange and other services for Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies alongside select security token offerings. In addition, OSL also has insured digital asset wallets and an audited digital asset trading platform aimed at institutions and professional investors.

Following the local government’s call to ban retail investor access, Hong Kong’s crypto market will be focused on institutional and professional investors, those deemed as high net worth individuals (HNWI) with some market knowledge and experience.

Institutional investment in Bitcoin and other digital assets has rapidly accelerated over the past several years, and has entered a new era of growth in Hong Kong with licensing,” said OSL chief executive Wayne Trench.

Following in the footsteps of DBS, OSL has also already applied for a digital asset licensed with the Monetary Authority of Singapore under the Payment Services Act.

Licensed entities are the future of digital assets and capital markets in the digital age and professional investors, hedge funds and family offices are now rapidly increasing portfolio allocations to digital assets such as Bitcoin,» added OSL head of distribution and prime Matt Long.

According to the statement, the OSL digital asset platform business saw a 47 percent year-on-year revenue increase in the first six months of 2020, driven in part by record-high trading volumes of $28 billion.

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