All cryptocurrency exchanges that have not yet applied for an operational license from the Commission

All cryptocurrency exchanges that have not applied for an operational license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) are legally required to immediately cease operations in the region.

In a bid to reduce the risks faced by investors, Hong Kong regulators have given cryptocurrency exchanges a clear ultimatum: either apply for a license by February 29, or shut down their operations within three months.

Notice issued by the Hong Kong SFC regarding the closure of cryptocurrency license applications. Source: Hong Kong SFC

During this period, more than 22 cryptocurrency exchanges have applied for licenses to maintain their presence in the region. However, many of these scholarships ultimately decided to withdraw their applications just before the deadline.

List of cryptocurrency exchanges that have withdrawn their license applications in Hong Kong. Source: Hong Kong SFC

In May alone, six cryptocurrency exchanges, including global companies such as OKX and Huobi HK, withdrew from the Hong Kong market.

While most exchanges provided no reason for the sudden turn of events, Hong Kong-based Gate.HK cited the need for a “complete overhaul” of its trading platform before it could comply with the Hong Kong regulatory requirements.

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After the license was withdrawn, Gate.HK stopped acquiring and marketing users. Existing users have until August 28 to withdraw funds.

The Gate.HK trading platform will no longer operate from May 28 and all previously tradable tokens, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Solana (SOL), and Polygon (MATIC) will be permanently removed.

“Gate.HK is actively working on the fix mentioned above. We plan to resume operations in Hong Kong in the future and contribute to the virtual asset ecosystem after obtaining the appropriate licenses.

As of May 31, 18 cryptocurrency exchanges have applied for operating licenses in Hong Kong. According to the SFC, the list of approved exchanges will be announced by June 1.

It is important to note that cryptocurrency exchanges may not obtain a license and due to the SFC’s decision, they may be forced to close their operations in Hong Kong.

The SFC advises investors to consult the official list of approved exchanges to reduce the risks associated with cryptocurrency trading.

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