How OSL Became The First Crypto Exchange To Win Over Hong Kong Regulators

When Hong Kong governors gave crypto agency OSL a nod of approval final week, it was the icing on the cake for the HKEX-listed digital plus buying and marketing platform.

Hong Kongs Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) granted BC Group crypto subsidiary OSL an approval-in-principle for its license utility for Type 1 (dealing in securities) and Type 7 (automated buying and marketing service or ATS), because it pertains to crypto and digital property.

The big image is that Asian crypto hubs like Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan have a clearer governory position going ahead and are progressing sooner than the U.S. and Europe. Perhaps this inevitably to be anticipated, provided that Asia corset the worldwide chief by way of crypto buying and marketing volumes.

I think governory progress has been such more significant than in North America, OSL CEO Wayne Trench expressed in an interview. Youve got governors whove been front-foot trying to embrace this movement and embrace the technology. The West is peradventure slightly less developed with more obscurity or uncertainty, which just really makes it difficult right for the traditional institutions to engage.

This is to not say Hong Kong is delivering light-touch regulation with regards to digital property; fairly the alternative, expressed BC Group CEO Hugh Madden.

The SFC flies very carefully and is heavily focused on consumer protection, Madden expressed. If you look at the details of the SFCs licensing framework, its quite specific. They prescribed mandatory insurance to protect consumers with specific percentages for hot and cold storage. When you add in the levels of controls, capital and scale of your organization, its really quite tough hurdle.

The SFC didn’t reply to a request for remark by press time.

OSL, which states it’s the first crypto firm to be granted conditional approval by the SFC, has acquired coverage cowl for each hot (related to the web) and chilly (absolutely offline) storage of digital property yet declined to enter particulars of the dimensions of canopy or markets offering it. OSL can also be set aside from different crypto performs in that its audited by Big Four accounting agency PwC.

In phrases of timelines, Madden expressed if all of the SFCs superordinate necessities are met, OSL ought to have its full license by the tip of this yr.

Asian autonomy

The SFC introduced its governory framework for digital plus buying and marketing platforms once again in November 2019, accentuation the governor would only grant licenses to platform operators assembly requirements corresponding to authorized securities brokers and automatic buying and marketing venues.

With the license in hypothesis given to OSL now, it would appear the SFC is keen to promote the licensing framework that was processed last November, expressed Malcolm Wright of business group Global Digital Finance.

Wright, a compliance professional primarily based in Hong Kong, expressed Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong have a pure benefit in that they’re able to develop their frameworks with relative autonomy.

The U.S. and Europe are more complex environments, he expressed through e-mail. For Europe, first there inevitably to be European agreement (e.g., 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive) then each country has to implement it into law a process that can take several years to complete and can still lead to variability in governory approach.

Travel Rule panorama

OSL and BC Group have in addition attained their governory chops because of their shut involvement with the Travel Rule Protocol (TRP), a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Travel Rule account crypto led by Dutch lender ING and Standard Chartered Bank, and together with Fidelity Digital property and BitGo.

Madden noted that OSL has license functions afoot in each Hong Kong and Singapore. He has in person adopted the progress of FATF guidelines for crypto intently in Asia and internationally, and has had the prospect to have fundamental interaction with a number of governors.

Madden delineate the Travel Rule answer territorial map as an exciting landscape, with digital plus service suppliers (VASPs) inside the giant economies tending to be extra domestically targeted, whereas very trade-oriented medium of exchange facilities are working in a extra worldwide trend.

Fortunately, were all well-noted to each other, and all the groups are brilliant at communication hypothesis in order to try and stay aligned, Madden expressed.


The chief in blockchain information, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the best print media requirements and abides by a strict set of editorial insurance policies. CoinDesk is an impartial working subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

How OSL Became The First Crypto Exchange To Win Over Hong Kong Regulators

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