A review of Hong Kong's virtual currency regulatory policy

Global blockchain compliance Alliance 2021-06-19 01:07:44 阅读数:151

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review hong kong virtual currency

2021 year 5 month , The financial services and the Treasury Bureau of Hong Kong 《 On Hong Kong's efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism Legislative proposals on the regulation of molecular fund raising and public consultation 》 Publish the consultation summary ( hereinafter referred to as “ Consultation summary ”). The main contents of the consultation summary can be summarized as the establishment of a licensing system for virtual asset service providers in Hong Kong , It requires that anyone who intends to engage in virtual asset trading business in Hong Kong , To the securities and Futures Commission ( The securities and futures commission ) Application for a licence , And meet the fit and proper criteria , And the licensees are required to comply with Hong Kong 《 Anti money laundering and terrorist financing regulations 》 The anti money laundering and terrorist financing regulations and other regulatory requirements aimed at protecting investors . The conclusion of the consultation shows that Hong Kong's requirement to incorporate virtual asset services into licence regulation , It indicates that the virtual asset service can be realized in Hong Kong .

As one of the three major international financial centers , Hong Kong's guiding and exemplary role in virtual currency trading is self-evident . The consultation summary also shows that Hong Kong is promoting the era of comprehensive supervision of virtual asset services . in fact , Hong Kong has been trying to explore the supervision of virtual assets , Looking at the discussion of virtual assets in Hong Kong over the years , It's not hard to see that as a financial center , The opening of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 、 compatible .

2017 year 9 month 5 Japan , The securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong ( hereinafter referred to as “ The SFC ” or “ The securities and futures commission “) The SFC has issued 《 A statement about the initial token issue 》, It's about ,

part ICO The terms and features of may lead to the sale of digital tokens that may belong to 《 Securities and Futures Ordinance 》 As defined by “ negotiable securities ”, And regulated by the securities laws of Hong Kong , And provide trading services or advice on such digital tokens , Or manage or promote funds that invest in digital tokens , May constitute “ Regulated activities “. And engage in “ Regulated activities ” A person or organization who , Whether it's in Hong Kong or not , As long as its business activities are aimed at the Hong Kong Public , They have to be licensed or registered with the SFC .

After the announcement , The SFC then targeted a number of cryptocurrency exchanges and some ICO The issuers took regulatory action , We have written to seven cryptocurrency exchanges located in or connected with Hong Kong , Warn them not to trade without a licence “ negotiable securities ” The cryptocurrency of .

2017 year 12 month 11 Japan , The SFC has issued 《 Circulars to licensed corporations and registered bodies About bitcoin futures contracts and cryptocurrency related investment products 》( hereinafter referred to as “ Circular letter ”), The circular states that ,

Some futures and commodity exchanges in the United States have launched or will soon launch bitcoin futures contracts , Hong Kong investors can also buy and sell these contracts through intermediaries . However , To provide trading and related services for Hong Kong investors on these contracts ( This includes communicating or passing on trading instructions ) Constitute a regulated activity , And whether or not the business is located in Hong Kong , They are required to apply for a licence from the SFC .

2018 year 2 month 9 Japan , Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission issued a circular again to remind investors , When dealing with cryptocurrency exchange and ICO When making an investment , We should guard against the potential risks .2018 year 3 month , because Black Cell Technology Limited May belong to “ Unauthorized marketing activities and unlicensed regulated activities ”, The SFC took immediate regulatory action , Stop it Black Cell Technology Limited What is being done to the public in Hong Kong ICO, And order them to return the relevant tokens to Hong Kong investors to cancel the relevant ICO transaction .

2018 year 11 month 1 Japan , The SFC has issued 《 About management companies for virtual asset portfolios 、 Statement on regulatory framework of fund distributors and trading platform operators 》, With two circulars (《 Circular to intermediaries About management companies for virtual asset portfolios 、 Statement on regulatory framework of fund distributors and trading platform operators 》 and 《 Circular to intermediaries to distribute virtual asset funds 》)( The following a general designation “2018 The statement of “). If the attitude of Hong Kong in the previous circulars is still relatively conservative , So in 2018 year 11 month 1 Japan's statement and circular letter are even bolder , Make it clear that virtual assets are regulated in Hong Kong .

2019 year 11 month , The SFC will directly issue a position paper to bring the licensed virtual asset trading platform into the regulatory sandbox (“ Voluntary licensing system ”), And listed with licensed securities brokers 、 The standards for automated trading venues are similar to regulatory standards .

After a series of Hong Kong legislative documents and circulars , It's not hard to see. , Hong Kong's attitude towards virtual assets has changed from vague to clear 、 The process from conservative to enlightened . The regulation of virtual assets in Hong Kong has the following characteristics :

1、 Openness and prudence coexist

Although Hong Kong has laws for virtual asset trading at present , But Hong Kong has not encouraged , On the contrary, the SFC has repeatedly publicly prompted and warned investors to pay attention to cryptocurrency transactions and ICO risk . With 2018 For example, the declaration of , The statement begins with a systematic and detailed risk warning about the risks associated with investing in virtual assets , Include “ The valuation 、 Volatility and liquidity “、“ Accounting and auditing ”、“ Network security and safe custody of assets ”、“ The market is clean and steady ”、“ Money laundering and terrorist financing risks ”、“ Conflict of interest ” and “ cheat ” There are seven aspects . And in 2018 In the middle of the year, there were restrictions on the audience , Request only to “ Professional investors ” Provide services . in other words , Although Hong Kong is constantly improving its regulatory system , But the risk warning of virtual assets has not stopped , While maintaining a compatible financial center structure , Also cautious about investment .

2、 The scope of supervision is gradually expanded

With 2018 year 11 month 1 The release time of the daily statement is node , Earlier, Hong Kong's regulatory system only included cryptocurrency and futures contract transactions with securities nature , Virtual asset management business that does not involve securities or futures contracts does not fall within the scope of supervision .2018 year 11 month 1 Japan , Hong Kong will bring the virtual asset management business into the scope of supervision .

In terms of regulatory standards , The SFC also pointed out that , It should not be lower than the current regulatory standards for similar businesses , for example , They should at least comply with the current rules , Include 《 Code of conduct for licensees or registrants of the securities and Futures Commission 》、《 The code of conduct for fund managers 》 etc. , And these businesses can no longer evade regulation because the assets in the portfolio do not constitute securities or futures contracts .

2021 year 5 month , The consultation summary of Hong Kong clearly stipulates that virtual asset service providers should be included in the scope of supervision , Include (i) Trading virtual assets with legal tender ;(ii) Trading one or more virtual assets with each other ;(iii) Transfer virtual assets ;(iv) Provide hosting or management services for virtual assets , Or provide tools to control virtual assets ; as well as (v) Provide financial services for issuing virtual assets . meanwhile , Hong Kong does not rule out the possibility that private virtual asset transactions will be regulated , This leaves room for possible regulation of private virtual assets in the future . As regulation expands , Step by step, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is following the example of banks 、 Traditional industries such as trust bring virtual asset business into the scope of supervision , Promote the compliance era of virtual assets .

3、 The way of supervision is mainly in the form of licensing

Hong Kong has always adopted a licensing system for financial business , To engage in regulated financial business should apply for a license , Including securities trading 、 Futures contract trading 、 Leveraged foreign exchange trading, etc . among , What is most sought after and widely recognized by the market is 1 Number plate ( Securities trading )、4 Number plate ( Advise on Securities ) and 9 Number plate ( Provide asset management ).

2018 The licensing requirements were restated in the declaration of , Make it clear that if the business you are engaged in is a regulated financial business , Even in the virtual asset business , Also need to be licensed . In particular , For example, it involves the management of virtual assets such as securities or futures contracts , Need to get 9 Number plate ; Engage in the distribution of virtual asset funds , Even if it doesn't involve securities or futures contracts , We should also achieve 1 Number plate .

2021 year 5 month , Hong Kong once again mentioned the licensing system , It also defines the conditions for virtual asset service providers to apply for licenses . Hong Kong requires that a virtual asset exchange that can apply for a license from the SFC must be a company established in Hong Kong and has a fixed place of business in Hong Kong before it can apply for a virtual asset service provider license . This is also to ensure that the SFC can effectively monitor the conduct and compliance of licensed virtual asset service providers . In addition to the applicants Male Division has geographical and office requirements , The fit and proper criteria also apply to all responsible officers and ultimate owners of the company . The change of the person concerned , Prior approval from SFC is required . When considering whether an individual is a suitable person , The SFC considers various relevant factors , Including whether the person has ever been convicted anywhere of money laundering or terrorist fund-raising or other serious crimes , Or have been convicted of fraud 、 Crimes related to fraud or dishonesty ; Has the person ever violated or is likely to fail to comply with the anti money laundering and terrorist financing provisions or other regulatory requirements applicable to licensed virtual asset service providers ; The person's experience and relevant qualifications ; And whether the person is in good standing and financially sound ( For example, bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings are not in progress ). To ensure the quality of management of licensed virtual asset service providers , The applicant must appoint at least two responsible officers , To ensure compliance with anti money laundering and terrorist financing regulations and other regulatory requirements in the future , And take personal responsibility when the licensee violates the regulations or does not meet the requirements .

Hong Kong is at the forefront of China's economy , There has always been a high quality soil for the development of Finance and emerging technology , It has a relatively perfect legal system 、 An abundance of expertise 、 Developed information and multi-party capital channels for investment in start-ups . And the leading role of blockchain technology and in credit 、 The benign application of smart contract and forensic has been widely recognized , Hong Kong is in the forefront this time , It is also reasonable for virtual asset services to enter the era of comprehensive supervision in Hong Kong . Looking at the regulatory system of virtual assets in Hong Kong , It can be said to be gradual 、 have a definite object in view , It can be predicted that Hong Kong will once again highlight its position as an international financial center in the supervision of virtual assets .

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