Hong Kong-based HashKey Capital Limited has been granted a license from the Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong to manage portfolios invested in 100% virtual assets.
Following the uplift of its Type 9 asset management license, HashKey will be able to manage portfolios investing in crypto assets only in compliance with the SFC’s regulations. In this regard, Dr. Xiao Feng, Chairman, HashKey Group stated,
“HashKey Group was among the first enthusiasts and advocates of the crypto industry… This Type 9 license uplift reinforces our commitment to fostering and advancing the blockchain community in Hong Kong and across Asia.”
HashKey Capital Limited is one of Asia’s leading digital asset management companies headquartered in Hong Kong with operations in Singapore and Tokyo.
The group had raised $360 million in January this year to fund entrepreneurs and ventures engaged in creating innovative blockchain and virtual asset solutions.
Its focus areas are blockchain technologies including base-layer protocols, in addition to Web 3.0 solutions. It has invested in a number of prominent crypto projects including Polkadot, BlockFi, and Moonbeam.
Crypto regulations being streamlined?
In Hong Kong, cryptocurrency is not banned. But its trading is regulated by the SFC.
On 28 January 2022, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority issued a Joint Circular on Intermediaries’ Virtual Asset Related Activities that provided a blueprint of the regulation model regarding crypto assets.
It said that entities currently engaged in virtual asset-related activities need to ensure their activities are in compliance with the guidelines and regulations of the said regulatory bodies.
On 24 June 2022, the government gazetted the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill 2022 which introduces a licensing regime for virtual asset services providers (VASPs).
The move gave the SFC extensive powers to monitor and regulate crypto assets trading in the country. Any VASP wishing to operate in Hong Kong needs to be registered with the SFC. The Bill also ensures that licensed VASPs comply with customer due diligence and record-keeping requirements.
So far, very few cryptocurrency trading companies have been able to secure licenses from Hong Kong’s SFC.
Interestingly, MaiCapital Limited, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency fund manager, has been granted Type 4 and 9 licenses by SFC. Huobi Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited has also been granted Type 4 and 9 licenses by the regulatory body.