SEBA Bank, a Switzerland-based crypto-focused bank, has secured an in-principal license to offer crypto services in Hong Kong. SEBA’s Hong Kong unit announced this achievement on August 30.
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) license allows the bank to offer over-the-counter crypto derivatives and other products in Hong Kong. Also, SEBA Hong Kong said it would provide virtual assets investment advice, including asset management for selected crypto accounts.
SEBA Identifies Hong Kong As A Gateway To The Chinese Market
SEBA Hong Kong’s Asia-Pacific CEO, Amy Yu, commented on the development. Yu said that the SFC’s regulatory framework for digital assets makes Hong Kong an attractive hub for crypto service providers. Furthermore, she noted that the clear framework provides vast growth potential for Hong Kong’s virtual asset industry.
Moreover, the ban on crypto trading in mainland China presents enormous opportunities for Hong Kong to explore the Chinese market. That’s because Hong Kong is China’s Special Administrative Region, strategically located near the mainland.
“Hong Kong is well-positioned to tap into the Chinese market when it opens up,” Yu remarked. Additionally, the SEBA CEO believes it would serve as a gateway for blockchain and crypto to penetrate the broader Chinese market.
Meanwhile, Yu commented on the SEBA’s decision to acquire a local license. She said the bank received requests from crypto firms who faced challenges accessing or managing their crypto holdings through traditional service providers.
Also, SEBA recorded enormous interest from family and private businesses who wanted professional digital assets management services. Given these factors, the company decided to apply for a license in Hong Kong.
It bears mentioning that SEBA offers traditional banking and cryptocurrency services in Switzerland, including crypto staking, trading, custody, and lending.
SEBA Joins A Host Of Others In Hong Kong’s Regulated Crypto Market
The Swiss bank’s in-principal approval comes amid heightened crypto regulatory activity in Hong Kong. Hong Kong introduced a crypto asset regulatory framework in June and the framework aimed at checkmating retail crypto trading. It mandates cryptocurrency trading service providers and exchanges to procure licenses from the SFC.
Following the framework introduction, Hashkey Exchange was the first to obtain a license to offer crypto trading services in Hong Kong. According to the August 28 report, the license allows Hashkey to offer Bitcoin and Ether retail trading.
Also, on August 3, OSL, a P2P trading platform, received an SFC license to offer retail Bitcoin and Ethereum trading. These two companies are the only fully licensed crypto exchanges providing trading services in Hong Kong.
However, this is about to change, as other firms have initiated moves to obtain similar approval in the city. Before SEBA, the SFC issued an in-principal approval to the Hong Kong Virtual Asset Exchange (HKVAX) on August 11. The clearance allows HKVAX to offer cryptocurrency trading services.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong move marks the third location, after Abu Dhabi and Switzerland, where SEBA Bank has pursued an operational license.
Featured image from Pixabay and chart from TradingView.com