Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission

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Securities and Futures Commission
Founded 1989
Headquarters Hong Kong
Key People Tim Leung, Chairman; Ashley Alder, CEO
Website HKSFC Homepage

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is an independent non-governmental statutory body responsible for regulating the securities and futures markets in Hong Kong.[1]

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At first, the SFC did not make a strong push to pursue regulation enforcement against digital asset trading platforms, such as exchanges, because it did not consider virtual currencies to be securities. It did, however, issue multiple statements about the legal and regulatory requirements - as well as risks - of engaging with the cryptocurrency markets in one way or another.

In 2017, the SFC released a statement about initial coin offerings (ICOs). The statement said that while "a virtual commodity itself is not a security," some ICOs may technically qualify as securities under the SFC's guidelines, and would be regulated as securities offerings.[2] In December of that year, the SFC put out another statement about the legal and regulatory requirements of investing in bitcoin futures.[3]

In February 2018, the SFC published another notice on its site that warned of trading cryptocurrency on centralized exchanges and investing in ICOs, saying that it had taken regulatory action against a number of cryptocurrency exchanges and issuers of ICOs.[4]

In November 2019, when the SFC published a position paper explaining new operational requirements for cryptocurrency and digital asset exchanges to receive an operating license. Among the many rules laid out in the paper, the paper said that the SFC would not give licenses to decentralized peer-to-peer platforms and that only professional investors would be allowed to trade on licensed platforms.[5][6]