SEBA Bank receives preliminary approval for crypto operations in Hong Kong

By: Micheal Wilson

SEBA Bank receives preliminary approval for crypto operations in Hong Kong

August 30, 2023 6:23 AM

The approval from SEBA Hong Kong is just the latest in a flurry of officially sanctioned crypto activity over the past month.

The Hong Kong branch of crypto-friendly Swiss bank SEBA Bank has been granted preliminary permission to trade virtual assets by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

On August 30th, SEBA Hong Kong announced that it had been granted preliminary approval for a license that would allow it to deal in crypto products including OTC derivatives, provide advice on virtual assets, and manage virtual asset portfolios for discretionary accounts.

Amy Yu, Asia-Pacific CEO of SEBA Hong Kong, told Cointelegraph that Hong Kong's legal structure and the SFC's regulatory framework for virtual assets present immense possibilities.

Yu said that despite China's restriction on cryptocurrency trading, Hong Kong is "well-positioned to tap into the Chinese market when it opens up" because of the city's proximity to the mainland and its status as a Special Administrative Region of China.

"With the massive potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Hong Kong might once again act as a doorway to China."

Yu stated that SEBA received interest from private wealth and family offices in addition to cryptocurrency enterprises that were having "difficulty in accessing and managing their digital assets holdings via traditional providers." This led SEBA to pursue a local license.

The Swiss financial institution SEBA Bank provides the full range of banking services in addition to digital asset services like trading, staking, lending, and custody.

There has been a rush of SEBA-approved regulated crypto activity in Hong Kong recently.

On August 28, it was reported that HashKey, the first crypto exchange in Hong Kong to receive regulatory approval, would begin allowing retail trading in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

OSL, a peer-to-peer trading platform, was also given retail trading clearance by the SFC. The only two authorized trading platforms in Hong Kong are HashKey and OSL.

A possible game-changer is the SFC's in-principle approval of the Hong Kong Virtual Asset Exchange (HKVAX) to operate a cryptocurrency trading platform on August 11.