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Unlicensed crypto exchanges face shutdown in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s financial regulator has issued a warning to cryptocurrency exchanges: obtain a license or shut down. 

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said that all crypto trading platforms operating in the city must apply for a license by the end of the month. All exchanges that fail to do so will be shut down by May 31. 

The SFC’s ultimatum is part of a broader effort to bring cryptocurrency trading into the regulatory fold.

Last June, Hong Kong opened up a licensing regime for crypto exchanges as part of the city’s plans to develop its market into a regional digital assets hub. 

Exchanges in Hong Kong must obtain licenses from the SFC to offer crypto trading services to the retail sector.

Last August, exchanges HashKey and OSL became the first exchanges permitted to serve the retail sector in Hong Kong.

The SFC has yet to approve any other application. 

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