November 3, 2023
By Sharan Kaur Phillora
In a bold move towards fostering crypto trading among retail investors, Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency firm, HashKey Group, has rolled out the first trading app sanctioned by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) since the JPEX scandal that stirred the local industry.
Here’s what we know:
This milestone is spearheaded by the HashKey Exchange app, which went live last Wednesday, offering a conduit for retail trading of bitcoin and ether directly via mobile phones. The app facilitates transactions in both Hong Kong and US dollars, directly debited from local bank accounts, as per HashKey Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Livio Weng.
This strategic move echoes a year after Hong Kong’s government unleashed a series of policy recalibrations aimed at amplifying the virtual asset sector. This included a new licensing mandate for cryptocurrency platforms, enabling the sale of hefty market capitalization tokens to retail traders. This regulation took effect last June, with a one-year grace period. So far, alongside its rival OSL, HashKey had its previous license upgraded last August, marking a significant leap towards nurturing a retail-friendly crypto trading ecosystem in the city.
The launch of the HashKey Exchange app is more than just a new trading platform; it’s seen as a litmus test for Hong Kong’s zeal in buttressing the sector amidst recent scandals and public skepticism. The JPEX scandal, which saw a loss of over HK$1.5 billion (US$192 million), was a severe blow to the trust in virtual assets, making HashKey’s venture a timely intervention.
Since its retail platform’s inception in August, HashKey articulated a trading volume surge past US$600 million, with a single-day trading volume on October 30 soaring beyond US$100 million. This uptick in trading activity underscores a burgeoning appetite for crypto trading among Hong Kong’s retail investors.
As a sweetener to its retail clientele, HashKey has unveiled its platform token HSK, earmarked for official listing on its exchange next year. With a planned minting of 1 billion HSK, this initiative is yet another lure for retail investors, albeit the tokens will not be initially sold to them.
The retail crypto trading sphere in Hong Kong has just expanded, thanks to HashKey’s pioneering app. Its success could be a harbinger of more retail-centric crypto trading platforms sprouting in the near future, aligning with Hong Kong’s broader vision of evolving into a global crypto hub.
About the author
Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.