CoinEx, a cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that it will launch a new exchange for Hong Kong users called “BitHK.” The exchange will support Hong Kong dollar (HKD) and peer-to-peer (P2P) trading. It aims to offer safe and compliant trading and will be available in English and traditional Chinese.
CoinEx’s Application to Operate as a VASP
CoinEx has announced that it will apply to operate as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) under Hong Kong’s new Guidelines for Virtual Asset Trading Platform Operators. The Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong will review the application. The new regulations will become effective on June 1. Other cryptocurrency exchanges, including Huobi, BitMEX, and OKX, plan to apply under the guidelines and operate in Hong Kong.
The new crypto regulations in Hong Kong come at a time when China has banned cryptocurrency. The restrictions have been in place since October 2021, and they prevent most crypto exchanges, miners, and services from operating in the country.
CoinEx’s Conflict with U.S. Regulators
CoinEx has recently faced a conflict with U.S. regulators. In February, the Office of the New York Attorney General sued the exchange for failing to register with the state. CoinEx responded by withdrawing from the U.S. market entirely, not just from the state of New York as required.
Since then, CoinEx has experienced moderately large trading volumes. The exchange saw $35 million in trading volume before the New York charges on Feb. 23. However, its daily volume fell to $29 million when it blocked U.S. users one day later on Feb. 24. As of May 28, it reports a 24-hour trading volume of $31 million.
It remains to be seen whether CoinEx’s new presence in Hong Kong will replace the activity it lost by abandoning U.S. users.