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Hong Kong Virtual Asset Exchange Receives SFC Approval-in-Principle to Operate a Digital Asset Trading Platform

Will become the first Hong Kong-incubated digital asset platform to receive Type 1 and Type 7 licenses

HONG KONG SAR 11 August 2023 – Hong Kong Virtual Asset Exchange (HKVAX) today received approval-in-principle from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to carry out Type 1 and Type 7 regulated activities, will become just the third licensed virtual asset operator in Hong Kong.

From left to right: Sam Fok, Co-Founder and COO of HKVAX and Dr. Anthony Ng, Co-Founder and CEO of HKVAX
From left to right: Sam Fok, Co-Founder and COO of HKVAX and Dr. Anthony Ng, Co-Founder and CEO of HKVAX

HKVAX, founded by Hong Kong entrepreneurs, aims to bridge the gap between traditional and digital finance, and between the West and the East, by setting a new standard in digital asset trading. HKVAX also aims to become a benchmark for new product categories such as STOs (Security Token Offering, or asset-backed tokens) to leverage investment opportunities in Web3.

“Hong Kong has grown into a hothouse for innovative technologies, fintech and virtual assets,” said Dr. Anthony Ng, Co-Founder and CEO of HKVAX. “We are delighted to have received approval-in-principle from the SFC and look forward to creating a safe and trusted environment for investors in one of the world’s largest and most dynamic financial centres.”

Once HKVAX receives final approval for its Type 1 (dealing in securities) and Type 7 (providing automated trading services) licenses, the company will offer three core products: an OTC brokerage with tight spread and high liquidity, which allows users to easily trade between fiat currencies and virtual assets; an institutional grade exchange platform; and a 100% insured custody solution with clear access control and segregation between client and house assets.

“As we continue to grow our business and expand the range of product offerings in Hong Kong, we strive to be the most reliable investment solutions provider and to work together with strategic investors for our next funding rounds,” Dr. Ng added.

Today’s announcement comes after the Hong Kong Government and the SFC revealed impending changes to the regulatory environment, aimed at creating robust and comprehensive governance for a sustainable and responsible virtual asset industry. Additionally, starting in early 2022, registered institutions and licensed corporations are required to collaborate with SFC-licensed virtual asset exchange platforms only for relevant trading services. The changes demonstrate Hong Kong’s commitment and determination to explore financial innovations alongside the virtual asset and the Web3 community. They also recognise the growing demand for virtual assets as institutional investors, family offices, high net-worth individuals and retail investors aim to diversify their portfolios in the hunt for both returns and protection from economic headwinds.

“The digital asset industry has faced numerous challenges in recent years, primarily related to centralised governance. From day one, we have been focused on governance, compliance, risk management and security. The recent market turmoil shows the value of that approach,” said Sam Fok, Co-Founder and COO. “Over the last two years, we have worked very closely with the government and other stakeholders to strengthen regulations. We welcome the changes proposed recently by the SFC that open up virtual assets to a wider community while providing investors of all types with the transparency, reliability and protection they expect. The changes also signal Hong Kong’s intent to become a global virtual asset hub.”

In addition to its portfolio of products and services, HKVAX is building a global ecosystem for investors by partnering with licensed and issuance platforms from five of the world’s most significant financial hubs, including New York, London and Singapore. The goal is to provide clients with a bridge to investment opportunities across the globe.

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