Invite Coinbase to apply to operate in Hong Kong amid U.S. SEC crackdown, says lawmaker.

A lawmaker from Hong Kong has invited global virtual asset trading operators, including the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, to register in the region. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has started accepting applications for licenses for crypto trading platforms, effective from June 1. Companies that register under this license will be able to serve retail customers in the country, but will need to comply with rules that prohibit crypto incentives like airdrops. Johnny Ng, a member of the Hong Kong legislative council, tweeted on Saturday welcoming virtual asset trading operators to Hong Kong for the application of official trading platforms and further development plans. A spokesperson from Coinbase said that the company is dedicated to partnering with high-bar regulators across the US and non-US jurisdictions. Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, had previously said that the company would consider moving out of the US if regulatory clarity surrounding cryptocurrency regulation did not come through. Coinbase is now looking to expand globally and is considering Abu Dhabi, Canada, and Singapore. Although international expansion is a key focus, Coinbase is not giving up on the US and wants to fight for regulatory clarity in the country. Toby Leah Bochan edited the article.