On 12 June 2024, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) held a briefing session to explain its regulatory expectations to the virtual asset trading platform (VATP) applicants that are now deemed to be licensed after 1 June 2024.

In a press release, the SFC noted that over 60 participants – including representatives from the deemed-to-be-licensed VATP applicants and their consultants – attended the morning briefing, where a comprehensive overview was given of the competencies expected of these applicants and they were walked through the licence application process. The SFC also introduced its on-site inspection programme, which aims to ascertain applicants’ compliance with the relevant regulatory requirements.

The non-contravention period for VATPs operating in Hong Kong under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO) came to an end on 1 June 2024, meaning that all VATPs operating in Hong Kong must either be licensed by the SFC or have applied to be a VATP (in which case they are deemed-to-be-licensed by operation of the AMLO).