OKX cryptocurrency exchange is in the final stages of acquiring a virtual asset service provider license (VASP) in Hong Kong. The exchange anticipates receiving the final approval for the VASP license by March 2024.
Li Zhikai, the global chief commercial officer of OKX, stated that the exchange is actively engaged in discussions with banks and is preparing for business operations, including technology integration, while awaiting the license issuance.
Hong Kong took a clear stance on cryptocurrencies and introduced regulatory guidelines for exchanges seeking a special license. However, despite the interest from more than 80 companies aiming to operate in the country’s crypto space, only a handful, such as HashKey and OSL, received authorization to provide services to customers.
OKX revealed in July that it garnered over 10,000 new user registrations in Hong Kong ahead of its official launch. This remarkable influx is particularly noteworthy as OKX becomes the first exchange in Hong Kong to reach this milestone following the implementation of the city’s new virtual asset service providers (VASPs) regime on June 1, 2023.
OKX, which claims to be the world’s second-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, said in a statement that it has made investments in various areas such as talent acquisition, technology, compliance, and system security over the past 18 months.
These efforts were undertaken to expand its operations to Hong Kong, providing users with access to P2P transactions, as well as the ability to use ApplePay, Visa, and Mastercard to purchase cryptocurrencies using HKD.
OKX Hong Kong’s users will be able to purchase, trade, and convert a diverse range of tokens, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Polygon, Solana, Polkadot, Uniswap, Chainlink, The Sandbox, Litecoin, Avalanche, Axie Infinity, Cosmos, Stellar Lumens, Tether and USD Coin.
The move also comes a few weeks after Hong Kong’s regulator revealed plans to permit licensed cryptocurrency platforms to cater to retail investors under its new regulatory framework for the sector.
The proposed guidelines encompass various aspects such as asset custody safety requirements, cybersecurity standards, and the segregation of client assets, among others. This was implemented from June 1, coinciding with the launch of a new licensing regime for virtual asset platforms.