Hong Kong Releases Crypto Rulebook

Cryptocurrency, which once aimed to democratize finance, finds itself operating across an increasingly fragmented landscape.

The sector’s former goals of global connectivity are now being drawn and quartered by a patchwork of jurisdiction-level regulations.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) released Tuesday (May 23) the Consultation Conclusions on the Proposed Regulatory Requirements for Virtual Asset Trading Platform Operators Licensed by the SFC, detailing the special administrative region’s rulebook ahead of a June 1 licensing regime for crypto.

Hong Kong has been taking strides to redevelop itself into a hub for cryptocurrencies, even as the digital asset sector and regulators butt heads elsewhere in Asia.

Crypto remains banned outright across mainland China.

Related: Hong Kong Unveils Rules For Crypto With Large Token Options

Separately, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), an association of organizations that regulate the world’s securities and futures markets that counts members from over 100 countries, unveiled Tuesday its own approach, and the first global regulatory view on regulating crypto assets and digital marketplaces.

The IOSCO’s proposal lists 18 policy recommendations that the Madrid-based association plans to finalize later this year.

“One of IOSCO’s goals is to promote greater consistency with respect to how IOSCO members approach the regulation and oversight of crypto-asset activities, given the cross-border nature of the markets, the risks of regulatory arbitrage and the significant risk of harm to which retail investors continue to be exposed,” the consultation report stated.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the crypto environment is becoming sharper, if not clearer as regulators crack down on the sector following a string of embarrassing collapses and exposures of fraudulent activity last year.

Bank of America (BoA) analysts published a research report Friday (May 19) saying the upside value of digital assets is “capped.”