HashKey Exchange, a bitcoin financial services firm located in Asia, has become the first Hong Kong-based company to get a licence under the city’s new licencing scheme, which allows crypto trading platforms to offer retail services. The firm has improved its type 1 and type 7 licences and may now service retail investors in the city. This comes only two months after Hong Kong introduced its new Virtual Asset Service Provider licencing scheme on June 1, with the goal of becoming a worldwide crypto centre. This year, Hong Kong has put out the welcome mat for crypto businesses, urging banks to collaborate with them. In December, the city’s Legislative Council enacted an amendment establishing a complete licencing scheme for virtual asset service providers. As part of the authority’s previous voluntary programme, HashKey and OSL were the only two licenced exchanges in the city. To cater to retail investors in the city, crypto trading platforms must seek a licence under the new laws. In June, a Hong Kong government research revealed rising concerns about Hong Kong lagging behind its East Asian and Gulf neighbours in Web3 development.
The Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) of Australia has filed a lawsuit against eToro Aus Capital Limited for claimed violations of design and distribution responsibilities, as well as eToro’s licence obligations to behave effectively, honestly, and fairly. The ASIC believes that eToro’s contract for difference (CFD) product, a leveraged derivative contract, was too wide and had a tough screening test. According to ASIC, over 20,000 eToro consumers lost money trading CFDs between October 2021 and June 2023. eToro AUS is investigating the accusations and will respond appropriately. For CFDs, the business is currently operating with a new target market determination. ASIC is requesting monetary penalties from the Court, which has yet to set a date.