Hong Kong Securities Commission to Keep a Close Watch on Crypto Sector

Hong Kong Securities Commission to Keep a Close Watch on Crypto Sector

Hong Kong’s SFC (Securities and Futures Commission) says in its annual report for 2017-18 released today, June 27, that it is going to “keep a close watch” on crypto exchanges and ICO (Initial Coin Offering) issuers.

The Hong Kong SFC notes that all new technologies come with some risks, so they’ll be looking closely at the sector and intervene when appropriate. Furthermore, the SFC took regulatory actions against ICO issuers and crypto exchanges, earlier this year. It also released two public warnings to warn the investors about the risk of investing in crypto assets, the report states.

The report also includes the agency’s supportive actions in the crypto sector, highlighting the launch of SFC’s regulatory sandbox that allows qualified crypto firms to conduct legal and regulated operations utilizing financial technologies. According to the report, the agency is also working with the IEC (Investor Education Center) to produce some educational materials on cryptocurrency, as well as public campaigns raising awareness about “risks associated with investing in ICOs and cryptocurrencies”.

SFC released its first circular and statement on ICOs in September last year, with its second circular published in December the same year on the regulatory requirements for crypto operators. The agency issued another statement in February this year after taking legal actions against crypto-based firms.

Earlier this year, the SFC stopped Black Cell Technology’s ICO on the grounds that the offering constituted an unregistered investment scheme and asked the offering to refund the investments made by investors in its token.

Last month, a report published by Hong Kong government said that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not particularly involved in funding illegal activities.

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