Hong Kong Battles Fake Crypto Exchanges

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has warned the public about a suspicious trading platform called HKCEXP. The platform claims to be registered with the SFC, but the regulator states that this is not the case. The SFC had set a deadline for cryptocurrency exchanges to apply for a license by February 29th. Any exchanges that failed to submit their applications would be required to cease operations in Hong Kong by May 31st. The SFC received license applications from 22 trading platforms, including four that had applied under the previous opt-in regime. Despite the SFC’s efforts to inform the public, Hong Kong still faces challenges in dealing with fake exchanges. HKCEXP is the latest one to be exposed, as it falsely claimed to be an “FSC-registered business” and provided a fake Hong Kong address. One victim reported that the platform charged excessively high fees for withdrawing funds. The SFC will maintain a public list of licensed crypto platforms to raise awareness about safe trading. Exchanges that did not apply for a license are limited in their operations and cannot engage in marketing activities in Hong Kong. In March, the SFC discovered and blocked several fake websites that impersonated well-known local exchanges. These websites included OSL Digital Securities and Hash Blockchain Limited. The SFC urged investors to verify the legitimacy of trading platforms using its register of licensed persons and institutions, as well as the list of licensed virtual asset trading platforms.

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