Hong Kong gives approval to OSL for first crypto exchange licence

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency & electronic finance

Hong Kong‘s markets regulator has agreed in principle to issue a licence to cryptocurrency firm OSL Digital Securities, a unit of Fidelity-backed BC group, the company said in an exchange filing on Friday.

OSL said last November it had become the first firm to apply for a digital asset licence from Hong Kong‘s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) under new rules allowing crypto exchanges to opt into regulation. No other company has so far said it has received such approval.

Financial regulators worldwide have been debating whether and how they should regulate the cryptocurrency or virtual asset industry.

OSL, and some of its competitors, say they welcome regulation in order to make it easier to provide services to financial institutions wishing to trade cryptocurrencies.

BC Group CEO Hugh Madden said that one benefit of being licenced was that regulated institutions would be able to reduce their risk by being able to engage with other regulated entities.

BC Group provides business park and advertising services as well as its cryptocurency business, which accounts for the bulk of its revenues. It made a net loss of 90.8 million yuan ($13.13 million) in the first half of 2020, according to its interim results.

Final approval is subject to certain conditions, the filing said, without identifying them. Madden said that these were “as you’d expect from a conservative regulator in a financial hub.”

Other Asian regulators are also looking to regulate cryptocurrency companies.

Singapore is in the process of bringing in licencing for digital asset companies, and some exchanges have chosen to apply for licences there rather than Hong Kong as the rules are less prescriptive.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency already licences some cryptocurrency exchanges.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.