Australia’s Independent Reserve Eyes Expansion to Hong Kong Amidst Proposed Licensing Regime for Crypto Exchanges

Independent Reserve, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Australia, is looking into expanding its business in Hong Kong following the city’s recent proposal of a licensing regime for crypto exchanges. The move is in line with Hong Kong’s ambitions to become Asia’s next cryptocurrency hub.

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced on February 20, 2023, that it will release a proposed licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges set to take effect in June of the same year. Under the new regime, Hong Kong-based crypto companies must comply with various measures relating to the safe custody of assets, such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC), counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) countermeasures, and conflict of interest disclosures and audits.

Adrian Przelozny, CEO of Independent Reserve, expressed his interest in expanding the company’s business in Hong Kong, saying that “right now, it is looking very interesting” and that “the recent announcement by the regulators in Hong Kong does make Hong Kong look like a friendly jurisdiction.” He added that his team will visit Hong Kong next week to meet with banks, regulators, lawyers, and compliance experts to determine if the location suits the company.

If Independent Reserve decides to expand to Hong Kong, it will join other cryptocurrency exchanges such as Huobi and OKX. Hong Kong’s proximity to mainland China, where cryptocurrency is heavily regulated, may make it an attractive destination for crypto exchanges looking to tap into the Chinese market.

Przelozny also commented on the region’s political relationship with China, stating that he believes China is testing how a more relaxed cryptocurrency regime looks in Hong Kong. Despite concerns over the potential impact of China’s regulations on Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency industry, the city’s government has remained committed to developing the industry and positioning itself as a hub for digital assets.

Independent Reserve’s potential expansion to Hong Kong is a significant move for the company and a promising sign for Hong Kong’s burgeoning cryptocurrency industry. As the city continues to establish itself as a hub for digital assets, more and more companies are likely to follow suit.

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