Ashley Elder, president of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), said that after checking the compliance of stock exchanges and ICO campaigns, “market experts” should also play a role in ensuring the legality of issuance and exchange tokens. Such a statement echoes the statements of the US regulator, the State Securities and Stock Market Commission (SEC), made in December.
“We will continue to monitor the market and will take action if necessary,” Elder said. “But we also call on market experts to conduct appropriate input controls to prevent fraud or questionable fundraising and to assist us in ensuring legal compliance.”
Hong Kong seeks to maintain a balance between the permissiveness and protection of investors in the field of Crypto-Currency and ICO.
Unlike in mainland China, where the trade in crypto-currencies and ICO is de facto banned, Hong Kong lawmakers have chosen a moderate path, when the SFC issued warnings and not restrictions, before the ban on cryptocurrency in China in September 2017.
The result was the flowering of crypto-currency start-ups in Hong Kong with the largest international currency exchange Bitfinex.
Binance, the world’s second-largest currency exchange by the volume of trading, is also based in Hong Kong, despite President Zhao Changping’s desire to increase the presence in other countries.
While China seeks to close the network for the remaining exchange loopholes, prospects for Hong Kong remain the same as before, hinting at the SFC.
“If investors can not properly assess the risks of the Crypto-Currency and ICO, or they are not ready for possible losses, they simply should not invest in this system,” continued Julia Leng, executive director of the brokerage firm, stressing the responsibility of the investors themselves.
“Investors who keep their money and crypto-currencies on unregulated crypto-exchange exchanges should be aware of the risks of hacking and misappropriation of assets.”