HashKey, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong, has recently launched its retail trading services for cryptocurrency traders in the region. Previously, the company was only permitted to serve professional and institutional investors. However, on August 3, HashKey was granted Type 1 and Type 7 licenses by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), allowing it to become the first licensed retail exchange in Hong Kong.
The launch of retail trading services by HashKey marks a significant development in the cryptocurrency market in Hong Kong. The exchange now offers trading pairs for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) with the Hong Kong Dollar (BTC/USD and ETH/USD), and plans to list additional tokens in the future. HashKey also announced support for both United States and Hong Kong Dollars deposits and withdrawals.
According to a spokesperson from the company, HashKey is optimistic about the development of Web3, which refers to the decentralized web and blockchain technologies, in the region. This optimism stems from the support of the government and the SFC. The exchange aims to onboard 500,000 to 1 million users by the end of 2023, both domestically and internationally.
In addition, HashKey predicts the advent of a new cryptocurrency bull market between 2024 and 2025. With the availability of retail trading services, the company expects Hong Kong’s crypto user base to increase to 10 to 15 million people over the next two years.
The favorable regulatory oversight provided by the Hong Kong government and the SFC has been identified as a key driver of growth for the Web3 ecosystem, according to Livio Weng, COO of HashKey Group. Weng believes that the regulatory environment being created in Hong Kong could attract talents and capital from around the world, leading to accelerated technological and business innovation. This could position the region as an attractive alternative for Web3 firms to relocate to.
HashKey’s exchange operates on the HEX Engine, a high-performance trading system capable of processing 5,000 transactions per second. The exchange has also adopted regulatory requirements in line with Hong Kong’s guidelines, including user screening, AML inspections, and transaction monitoring.
It is worth noting that Hong Kong’s favorable but regulated cryptocurrency ecosystem has caught the attention of global players like Binance. Binance has actively participated in public discussions and policy-making processes in Hong Kong, showcasing its interest in the region.
Another company, OSL, also announced the uplift of its license by the SFC on August 3. This enables the brokerage, exchange, and custody provider to offer its services to retail customers in Hong Kong. Further information on whether OSL has onboarded retail users since the announcement is yet to be confirmed.
Overall, the launch of HashKey’s retail trading services in Hong Kong is a significant milestone for the cryptocurrency market in the region. With favorable regulatory oversight and increasing interest from global players, Hong Kong has the potential to become a major hub for the cryptocurrency industry.