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The first virtual currency trading license was recently issued in Hong Kong. Venture Smart Asia has launched its own cryptocurrency fund here, which buys and tracks Bitcoin prices.

How to get a crypto license in Hong Kong

The fund on the Hong Kong stock exchange is certainly a long-awaited event in the Hong Kong financial industry. Earlier, the strict nature of licensing and a wide regulatory framework led to the fact that some Hong Kong cryptocurrency funds went offshore. Many experts at the market, however, believe that not the regulation is to blame, but the time required for the funds to develop the necessary systems for proper audit and cybersecurity.

As expected, the Venture Smart Asia case will cause interest from many industry players and they will want to follow it. In this case, they will be required to comply with the SFC licensing conditions, which are aimed at reducing the risks associated with investing in virtual assets.

Hong Kong Cryptocurrency Trading License Requirements 

  • Only professional investors can invest in a fund.
  • Risk communication to potential investors appointed to distribute crypto assets
  • Involve thoroughness and prudence in the selection, appointment, and continuous monitoring of custodians in order to meet their qualification requirements
  • Setting a limit on investments in illiquid virtual assets
  • Liquid capital of at least HKD3 million
  • Due diligence on a regular basis.

The regulator made it clear that a violation of the above conditions will be considered as non-compliance with the rules, for which the manager can pay with his license. Since the procedure for issuing crypto licenses in Hong Kong is new, the market participants can expect and be prepared for officials to require additional documents or put forward additional requirements.

Earlier, the SFC warned Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchanges about the inadmissibility of trading assets that could be considered securities and could be regulated. Most exchanges confirmed that they did not trade cryptocurrencies falling under regulation, or immediately clarified their position and suspended trading.

Ultimately, strict regulatory measures have their own logic: in order for virtual assets to be widely recognized and trusted, proper supervision and good risk management are necessary.

The future is near

In a very close perspective, that is, during 2020-2021, Hong Kong is planning to make adjustments to the regulation of crypto business in accordance with the FATF requirements. Legislative amendments prepare Hong Kong to participate in the growing global cryptocurrency ecosystem. The jurisdiction became the first in Asia where the cryptocurrency policy was recognized as complying with the international FATF rules, an organization responsible for combating money laundering at the global level.

The amendments will affect cryptocurrency exchanges, and also will not leave money transfer service providers aside.


Many Asian countries have become the largest cryptocurrency markets, and the most far-sighted governments are introducing increasingly friendly regulation regarding crypto assets.

Obtaining a license to trade cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong provides access to the entire Asian market. Using the Venture Smart Asia fund as an example, it becomes clear that if all the regulatory requirements are met, then it is quite possible to get a license for operations with cryptocurrencies, which opens up broad prospects. If you still have questions on the topic, do not hesitate to order legal consultation on the regulation of crypto activities in Hong Kong with our seasoned professionals.