Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is implementing new measures to strengthen investor education and enhance investor protection. The move comes in the wake of the JPEX debacle, which raised concerns about the city’s regulatory procedures and highlighted the need for stricter oversight in the virtual asset trading space.

One of the key changes introduced by the SFC is the publication of a comprehensive list of licensed Virtual Asset Trading Platforms (VATPs) on its website. This list will not only include licensed platforms but also those currently undergoing the application process, entities ordered to shut down, and suspicious entities. By making this information transparent and readily available, the SFC aims to alert investors about which businesses to interact with and foster a safer trading environment.

In addition to the publication of the comprehensive list, the SFC plans to launch a fraud prevention publicity campaign. The campaign will educate the public on how to protect themselves against fraud within the virtual asset trading industry. By raising awareness and promoting best practices, the SFC aims to empower investors and reduce the risk of falling victim to fraudulent schemes.

To further strengthen investor protection, the SFC has vowed to investigate and prosecute illegal platforms operating in Hong Kong. The commission recognizes the importance of intelligence gathering in tackling illicit activities related to virtual assets. By enhancing its intelligence-gathering process, the SFC aims to proactively identify and take action against platforms engaged in fraudulent or illegal activities.

Recognizing the need for ongoing discussion and regulatory reforms, Hong Kong lawmaker Johnny Ng has written to the legislative council to establish a subcommittee focused on the emerging virtual asset industry. This subcommittee will complement the recent regulatory reforms and delve into the development of Web3 and virtual assets. Its primary objective will be to identify and address loopholes in current regulations to prevent future implosions like the one witnessed with JPEX.

In a significant development, the police have arrested 11 individuals connected to the JPEX fraud case. Authorities are actively seeking Interpol’s assistance in apprehending the leaders of the exchange. Furthermore, the police have successfully frozen some cryptocurrencies linked to the fraud. These arrests and asset seizures demonstrate a concerted effort to hold wrongdoers accountable and recover funds for affected victims.

The SFC affirms its commitment to regularly reviewing the regulatory regime in Hong Kong and adapting it to new market developments. Recognizing the dynamic nature of the virtual asset trading industry, the SFC remains proactive in considering timely measures to strengthen investor protection. The commission emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts with the police to establish a dedicated channel for sharing information on suspicious activities and breaches by VATPs.

The measures introduced by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission are significant steps towards enhancing investor protection and promoting integrity in the virtual asset trading industry. The transparency provided through the comprehensive list of licensed VATPs and the fraud prevention campaign will empower investors to make informed decisions and safeguard their investments. The establishment of the subcommittee and the ongoing review of the regulatory regime demonstrate a commitment to learning from past incidents and strengthening the city’s regulatory framework. Through collaborative efforts with the police, the SFC aims to crack down on illegal platforms and bring wrongdoers to justice. Ultimately, these actions serve to rebuild trust in Hong Kong’s virtual asset trading market, ensuring a safer and more secure environment for investors.

Regulation

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