Hong Kong, towards the end of last week, issued its first cryptocurrency exchange license dedicated for retail customers. The recipient of the license was HashKey Exchange, which said in a statement that it will “expand its business scope from serving professional investors to retail users.” This shift, which began after the exchange requested the license upgrade in July, will help ensure a safer and simpler process for string and buying crypto in for those interested in doing so in Hong Kong’s retail sector. Indeed, the Group’s COO Livio Weng, commented on the development by saying that “the industry as a whole will witness increased transparency leading to a significant boost in investor confidence.”  

The first license HashKey received, Type 1, allowed them to operate a digital asset trading operation under Hong Kong’s laws, while the second one, Type 7, will give them full trading access in the city to institutional and retail investors. This is a very significant development, as HashKey’s new license announcement comes a month after Hong Kong’s government deployed a Web3 task force to ensure the sustainable growth of the digital asset industry in the city, just the latest in crypto-friendly developments in the region, alongside requesting major banks HSBC and Standard Chartered to help bring more crypto platforms to Hong Kong. We will surely be following the crypto-related development in Hong Kong very closely in the coming weeks and months.