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In-principle approval granted to SEBA Bank for crypto services in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's SEBA bank advances crypto services with a regulatory nod, expanding amid growing market demand

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Aug 31, 2023 11:29:01 PM IST

In-principle approval granted to SEBA Bank for crypto services in Hong KongImage: Shutterstock

With a strong focus on crypto, Hong Kong-based SEBA Bank has achieved a significant milestone in its expansion endeavours and secured an in-principle approval from Hong Kong’s securities regulator. This accomplishment brings the bank one step closer to offering virtual asset services within the Asian financial hub.

SEBA announced that the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has granted an in-principle approval, setting the stage for issuing licences once specific conditions are met for final approval. These licences would empower SEBA to partake in securities dealing, including crypto-related structured products. Additionally, the bank would be positioned to provide advisory services on digital assets and traditional securities and manage them.

Hong Kong's move to introduce a regulatory framework in June, focusing on regulating retail crypto trading, has catalysed the need for platforms and exchanges to obtain licences. SEBA Bank's progress aligns with its proactive approach to create a structured and secure environment for the evolving crypto landscape.

Amy Yu, the Asia-Pacific CEO of SEBA Hong Kong, underscores the significance of the Securities and Futures Commission's virtual asset regulatory framework coupled with Hong Kong's robust legal system. While China has implemented a crypto trading ban, Hong Kong remains strategically positioned to tap into the Chinese market once it opens up, given its geographical proximity to the mainland and its Special Administrative Region status.

SEBA Bank's pursuit of licences in Hong Kong aligns with growing regulated crypto activity in the region. Other entities, including HashKey Exchange and OSL, have also secured approvals to offer crypto services. The city's mandatory crypto regulatory framework marks its determination to regain its status as a cutting-edge financial hub.

As SEBA Bank's progress continues, its expansion serves as a testament to the promising prospects of the crypto and blockchain landscape in the region. With the regulatory landscape becoming clearer, it paves the way for increased confidence among both investors and businesses to explore and embrace the potential of digital assets.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong continues to lead the pack in terms of crypto regulatory developments among governments around the world. Similar proactive regulatory frameworks are expected to be replicated across countries, with all eyes on the US at the moment as the heart of global finance.

The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash