HashKey, a crypto platform, becomes the first licensed exchange in Hong Kong to offer retail services.

HashKey, a crypto platform, becomes the first licensed exchange in Hong Kong to offer retail services.

The Rise of Blockchain in Hong Kong: HashKey Receives First Crypto License

“Source: Pexels / Jimmy Chan” Source: Pexels / Jimmy Chan

Hong Kong continues to solidify its position as a leader in the world of blockchain and digital innovation. The latest development comes from crypto exchange HashKey, which has become the first digital asset entity to receive a license under Hong Kong’s new crypto licensing regime.

HashKey Exchange, a subsidiary of HashKey Group, announced on Thursday that it had obtained the upgrade of Type 1 and Type 7 licenses. This regulatory milestone allows the platform to expand its business scope from serving professional investors to retail users. The move highlights Hong Kong’s aggressive push towards Web3 and blockchain adoption, positioning itself as a hub for digital innovation in Asia and attracting crypto businesses.

The new regulatory guidelines in Hong Kong enable retail investors to trade specific “large-cap tokens” on licensed exchanges. This move not only opens up opportunities for retail investors but also provides a boost to overall investor confidence in the industry. Livio Weng, COO of HashKey Group, emphasized the importance of these licenses in ensuring the safety and security of the platform, stating, “With the establishment of licensed trading platforms and the further clarity of regulatory frameworks in Hong Kong, the industry as a whole will witness increased transparency, leading to a significant boost in investor confidence.”

Hong Kong’s Improving Regulatory Stance

Hong Kong’s regulatory stance and the recent cryptocurrency framework have generated substantial interest among digital asset investors. Christian Hui, the city’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, revealed that over 80 companies in the digital asset space have expressed interest in establishing a presence in Hong Kong since October 2022.

Notably, HashKey and its rival OSL were previously the only two licensed exchanges under Hong Kong’s voluntary licensing program. While China has imposed a blanket ban on crypto transactions as part of its broader crackdown, Hong Kong regulators have taken a different approach, actively encouraging banks to provide services to crypto companies. This proactive stance has led to several Chinese state-owned banks in Hong Kong, including Bank of Communications, Bank of China, and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, now offering services to crypto firms.

Hong Kong’s commitment to embracing blockchain technology and fostering a supportive regulatory environment bolsters its position as a leading digital hub in the region. By setting the stage for licensed trading platforms, promoting transparency, and gaining the trust of investors, Hong Kong is attracting a diverse range of digital asset companies.

The Benefits of Regulatory Clarity

The issuance of licenses to HashKey Exchange marks a pivotal moment for the blockchain industry in Hong Kong. The clarity provided by regulatory frameworks not only safeguards user benefits but also fosters trust in the market. By establishing licensed trading platforms, Hong Kong empowers investors with increased transparency, enabling them to make more informed decisions.

Furthermore, investor confidence is crucial for the growth and development of the blockchain industry. The blockchain market operates on trust, and regulatory clarity ensures the fair and secure operation of exchanges and digital asset platforms. Investors can trade with confidence, knowing that their interests are protected.


HashKey Exchange’s attainment of the first crypto license in Hong Kong serves as a significant milestone in the city’s journey towards becoming a blockchain and digital innovation hub. Hong Kong’s improving regulatory stance and commitment to creating a supportive environment for crypto companies demonstrate its proactive approach in driving the adoption of blockchain technology.

As Hong Kong continues to attract companies in the digital asset space, investor confidence in the region is set to rise. The establishment of licensed trading platforms and the transparency brought about by regulatory frameworks will pave the way for further growth and development. Hong Kong is truly positioning itself as a leader in the blockchain industry, fostering innovation, and embracing the future of digital finance.