Ceases Operations in Hong Kong amid Tightening Crypto Regulations

As a researcher with extensive experience in the cryptocurrency industry, I’m closely monitoring the recent developments surrounding’s decision to cease operations of its Hong Kong-based entity, Gate HK. This decision, which comes on the heels of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong’s warning to virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operating in the region, is a clear indication of the increasingly strict regulatory environment for crypto exchanges in the Chinese region.

As a researcher studying the crypto exchange market, I’ve come across recent news that, a well-known platform, has decided to halt operations for its Hong Kong entity, Gate HK. Additionally, they have withdrawn their license application to run a cryptocurrency trading business in the region. This move can be attributed to the tightening regulatory environment for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP) in the Chinese area.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has issued a mandate: as of May 31, any Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in operation within the region, plus those yet to apply for licensing, must cease their activities. This directive has precipitated a flurry of application submissions from crypto exchange platforms and the closure of some businesses.

As a crypto investor, I’ve been following the developments at Gate.HK with great interest since they launched in Hong Kong last May. Recently, they announced some significant changes for their platform. They mentioned that they will be undergoing a major revamp and unfortunately, they will have to withdraw their license operations in the country.

The company requested users to pull out their assets from its platform prior to August 28. Their intention is to cease trading all tokens, including well-known cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Solana (SOL), starting May 28 at 4:00 PM (Hong Kong Time).

I’ve received some disappointing news as a crypto investor. The exchange company announced that they will no longer accept new deposits or register new users on their platform, effective immediately after the announcement was made. Additionally, they have ceased marketing their services in Hong Kong. So, if you were considering joining this platform or making a deposit, I would advise against it until further notice.

Starting from the present moment, Gate.HK will no longer promote its offerings in Hong Kong. It is highly recommended that users take care of winding down their activities with us by 4:00 PM on May 28, 2024 (Hong Kong time). Additionally, users should withdraw their assets from our platform by August 28, 2024.

In February, Gate.HK made an initial application for a license with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong. However, their unexpected withdrawal from the process can be attributed to their inability to acquire the necessary permits for lawful operations within the territory. Nevertheless, the crypto exchange platform expressed optimism, stating that they are in the process of making required adjustments to their business model and aim to resume operations in Hong Kong at a later time.

Responses of Other Crypto Exchanges to Regulatory Pressures

Several virtual asset service providers, including HKVAEX – a Hong Kong crypto exchange platform reportedly associated with Binance – have followed Gate.HK’s lead by abandoning their applications due to the challenging regulatory environment in Hong Kong that has hindered their growth. HKVAEX made this decision public on March 28, announcing its intent to close its business.

Huobi HK, HTX’s Hong Kong branch, resubmitted its license application on May 14 and will cease operations by August. Per SFC regulations, virtual asset providers who do not meet the necessary conditions are mandated to shut down by May 31 or within three months of receiving such notice from the regulatory authority.

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2024-05-23 13:52