The Hong Kong regulator has announced a deadline for crypto companies to obtain work permits

Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has ordered local cryptocurrency platforms to apply for a license by February 29 — or close by May 31, 2024.

The SFC is stepping up its oversight of the crypto industry by advising investors to only engage with cryptocurrency exchanges that are listed by the regulator as licensed virtual asset trading platforms or as license applicants.. The SFC recommended that crypto investors trading on unregistered exchanges be prepared for operational disruptions.

“Investors using virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs) that operate in Hong Kong but are not listed as legal are urged to take action. For example, close accounts on them before May 31, 2024 or switch to platforms for trading virtual assets that have an SFC license,” the regulator said in its announcement..

Two platforms received an SFC license: HashKey and OSL. The Hong Kong regulator is currently considering applications from 14 crypto companies. These include trading platforms Bybit and OKX, as well as cryptocurrency exchange HKVAEX, which reportedly has ties to the largest crypto exchange Binance.

Last week, the SFC called on local crypto exchanges to insure at least 50% of client assets to protect users and reduce the impact of possible security breaches or insolvency..