On February 14, Interactive Brokers, a brokerage company based in the United States, revealed the commencement of their crypto trading services in Hong Kong, specifically designed for institutional clients.
This service was established in collaboration with OSL Digital Securities, which is a licensed digital asset brokerage and trading platform meant for professional investors under the Securities and Futures Commission.
Residents of Hong Kong who possess investable assets exceeding 8 million Hong Kong dollars (equivalent to $1 million) or institutions with assets greater than HK$40 million (which equals $6 million) are now eligible to trade crypto, among other asset classes, using the Interactive Brokers platform.
Before this announcement, investors had to employ multiple trading platforms from different brokers and exchanges in order to engage in crypto and other asset-class trading. However, by using the Interactive Broker platform, investors can now conduct crypto trading and monitor their balances in one unified view, which eradicates the need for multiple platforms.
Interactive Brokers' clients have access to a centralised cash management system which enables them to trade an array of assets, including but not limited to stocks, options, futures, bonds, event contracts, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds, along with Bitcoin and Ether, all from a single screen.
The commencement of crypto trading services on the Interactive Brokers platform in Hong Kong is happening at a crucial moment in the development of the region's regulated digital asset market.
In January, the Financial Secretary for Hong Kong, Paul Chan, expressed the government's willingness to collaborate with crypto and fintech businesses in 2023. Chan also disclosed that several business organisations were looking to expand their activities in Hong Kong or be listed on local exchanges.
In December 2022, legislators in Hong Kong sanctioned a bill that established a licensing system for firms providing virtual asset-related services. This new regulatory system aims to offer crypto exchanges the same degree of market acceptance that traditional financial institutions enjoy at present.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash