In the ongoing battle against unregistered virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs), Hong Kong’s Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) has pledged to reveal all certified trading platforms in the region. This move aims to help users identify unregistered cryptocurrency firms and provide timely alerts to investors regarding illegal VATPs.
The decision comes after an investigation into JPEX, a cryptocurrency exchange that allegedly promoted its offerings without a license. Despite the arrest of 11 individuals, including cryptocurrency influencer Joseph Lam, the masterminds behind the JPEX scandal remain at large. The exchange’s fraudulent activities have resulted in approximately 2,270 complaints and losses of around 1.4 billion Hong Kong dollars ($178 million). Most users have reported difficulties in withdrawing their digital assets from the platform, while JPEX increased withdrawal charges to 999 Tether (USDT) on September 15th.
In response to public demand, the SFC has made a U-turn on its previous stance and will now provide a list of platforms that have applied for licenses in Hong Kong. The watchdog initially voiced concerns that such a move might mislead investors and create a false sense of safety. However, the SFC has now recognized the need to evaluate whether virtual asset trading platforms are misrepresenting their licensing status. Wong Lok-yan, SFC’s licensing director, highlighted the importance of addressing public concerns and ensuring market confidence.
The current list of certified operators does not include JPEX. By disclosing information about licensed platforms, the SFC aims to empower users with the necessary knowledge to make informed investment decisions and avoid unauthorized cryptocurrency firms. This move reflects the increasing efforts by regulators to regulate and oversee the crypto market, with the ultimate goal of maintaining market integrity and protecting investors.
For more information on this development and the JPEX scandal, you can read the full article on Invezz, a leading financial news website. As the SFC continues its efforts to combat unregistered VATPs, it remains to be seen how effective these measures will be in curbing illegal cryptocurrency activities in Hong Kong.