HK to open virtual assets to retail investors

virtual, assetsHong Kong regulators have widened access to virtual assets to include retail investors. In December, the government passed an amendment to anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) measures to include virtual assets. The new framework will take effect as of June this year, imposing new measures on virtual asset service providers. In the interim, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is set to issue a consultation paper outlining how retail investors can access the asset class. Under current rules, brokers can trade crypto-based ETFs on behalf of retail investors. But to trade crypto directly and actively, they will need additional approval from the SFC. The passed amendment has been welcomed by Hong Kong's financial services secretary Christopher Hui as a reinforcement of Hong Kong's international finance centre ambitions. "The amended Ordinance establishes an effective AML/CTF regulatory regime and fulfils the relevant international obligations," said Hui. "This, in turn, strengthens Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre. For VA exchanges, a comprehensive and balanced regulatory framework can protect investors and promote responsible and sustainable industry development." ©2023 funds global asia

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