Hong Kong Working On Broader Regulations For Digital Assets

Several financial regulators have been clamping down on the crypto sector in recent months. This is in an effort to control the new and mostly unregulated asset.

Currently, Hong Kong is revising its anti-money laundering laws to include cryptocurrencies. This amendment is due to the increased usage of crypto in the state.

On July 13th, cryptocurrency writer Colin Wu talked about the regulatory framework in Hong Kong. Wu said the government is modifying the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Bill of 2022.

The state is adding a richer regulatory concept of digital assets for crypto firms and users. However, the new amendment is waiting for approval.

Meanwhile, Wu claims that the law won’t be effective until 2023. However, the impacts of the bill are already being felt.

Particularly, numerous crypto ads have disappeared from Hong Kong’s streets. Also, non-compliant exchanges like BitMEX and FTX have relocated their corporate offices. 

Other exchanges have applied for the necessary licenses. Meanwhile, others are in the process of doing so, including HashKey, Huobi, and OSL.

Repercussions For Crypto Offenders

According to the revised law, companies offering virtual currency services must have licenses. If they do not have a license, it could result in fines of up to $5,000,000 or a prison sentence of seven years.

Additionally, advertising an unlicensed crypto firm might attract a fine of $50,000 or a jail sentence of six months. It also prohibits indirect or direct use of fraudulent methods in cryptocurrency transactions.

This would attract a $10,000,000 or a maximum sentence of ten years in jail. Moreover, the revised bill was initially made available in the Gazette of Bills on June 24th. 

On July 6th, they brought the bill to the Legislative Council for the first reading. Also, on July 8th, the lawmakers gave the amended bill to the House Committee for review.

Strict Cryptocurrency Laws In Other Nations

Authorities are clamping down on digital currencies and their advertising globally. In January, Finbold reported that Singapore shut down all its BTC ATMs. This was after it attempted to restrict the public advertising of cryptocurrency services.

Likewise, Spain made a similar declaration in February. Spain started to regulate the advertising of BTC and other cryptocurrencies formally. This was after the council of state’s approval of the Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV).

Finally, in April, the Irish advertising authority started reviewing its guidelines for crypto commercials. This was in response to concerns about the lack of explanation in those ads.

The ads failed to note the potential hazards of investing in cryptocurrency. Also, there was an increase in marketing for crypto companies like Floki in Ireland.

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