OKX (OKB) Withdraws VASP License Application in Hong Kong Amid Regulatory Shifts

<ul>
  <li>OKX, a prominent crypto exchange, has withdrawn its Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license application in Hong Kong.</li>
  <li>This move follows similar actions by Gate.io’s Hong Kong affiliate, HKVAEX, and Huobi HK.</li>
  <li>OKX cited "careful consideration" of its business strategy as the reason for this decision.</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>OKX withdraws its VASP license application in Hong Kong, ceasing trading services for residents amidst regulatory changes.</strong></p>
<h2><strong>OKX Withdraws Application and Ceases Centralized Exchange Services in Hong Kong</strong></h2>
<p>Complying with local regulatory requirements, OKX will cease offering centralized crypto exchange services to Hong Kong residents by May 31. The exchange reassured users that their funds would be safe; however, deposits made after this date may not be automatically credited, and any open orders will be canceled.</p>
<p>Additionally, any open orders by the end of May will be canceled, and the funds will be transferred to the respective OKX account balances. Customers have until August 31, 2024, to withdraw their assets to self-custody wallets or accounts on other third-party platforms. After the August deadline, users will lose the ability to initiate direct withdrawals or transfers, and any remaining balances will be treated as unclaimed property per OKX’s terms of use.</p>
<p>Despite the cessation of its centralized exchange services, OKX reminded customers that its OKX Web3 self-custodial wallet would be available to local users and would not be affected by this decision.</p>
<h3><strong>OKX Withdraws Application Amidst Hong Kong’s Cryptocurrency Licensing Requirements</strong></h3>
<p>Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passed an amendment introducing a licensing regime for cryptocurrency service providers in December 2022, with the new rules commencing in June 2023.</p>
<p>As a result, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) mandated that all regional crypto exchanges acquire an operational license. Exchanges that failed to apply for a license were required to stop their services by May 31, 2024.</p>
<p>OKX initially submitted its VASP application to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on November 16. Many other global exchanges have applied for these retail trading licenses. The SFC had been reviewing applications from 20 crypto firms, including prominent names like OKX, Bybit, Bullish, and Crypto.com.</p>
<p>OKX has been active in other jurisdictions despite its withdrawal from Hong Kong. In January, the exchange obtained a VASP license in Dubai and has recently expanded its services to Turkey and Australia.</p>
<h3><strong>Conclusion</strong></h3>
<p>OKX's withdrawal from the Hong Kong market underscores the complexities and challenges of navigating regional regulatory environments. While the cessation of services in Hong Kong marks a significant shift, the exchange's continued expansion in other jurisdictions like Dubai, Turkey, and Australia highlights its strategic pivot to more favorable regulatory climates. Users in Hong Kong are advised to withdraw their assets by the stipulated deadlines to avoid complications.</p>
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GideonWolff is a 27-year-old technical analyst and journalist with extensive experience in the cryptocurrency industry. With a focus on technical analysis and news reporting, GideonWolff provides valuable insights on market trends and potential opportunities for both investors and those interested in the world of cryptocurrency.
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