Briefing on Cryptocurrency Warnings in Hong Kong

Police & Regulations
Martin Walker
Sep 17, 2023 at 12:07 pm

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the esteemed guardian of the financial realm in the special administrative region, has thoughtfully and sagaciously issued a cautionary advisory concerning certain cryptocurrency enterprises. These entities, in their audacity, present themselves with a veneer of banking institutions, employing terminologies reserved for the hallowed halls of traditional banking. Alas, this mirage they create may very well be a breach of the region's august banking statutes.

In an eloquently phrased missive to the public, the HKMA expressed its earnest concern regarding the potential for specific banking lexicon to be misinterpreted by the common folk, leading them astray into believing that these cryptocurrency endeavors have been anointed as authorized banks within the illustrious realm of Hong Kong. However, the central banking authority, in its wisdom, took this opportune moment to remind one and all that, according to the hallowed banking laws of the region, only those institutions bedecked with licenses are graced with the privilege to engage in the venerated activities of banking or partake in the noble tradition of deposit-taking within the esteemed borders of Hong Kong.

The central bank, in its role as a vigilant custodian of order, felt compelled to issue a solemn warning to the populace. These solemn words of caution were directed towards companies that, in their grandiose self-portrayal, utilize appellations such as "crypto bank," "digital asset bank," and "crypto asset bank." These entities, audacious in their demeanor, claim to offer services akin to traditional banking or even assert the provision of bona fide banking accounts. Alas, such proclamations, the wise central bank notes, may be in violation of the laws of the land.

According to the sagacious HKMA, beyond the realm of authorized institutions, it is decreed by the legal fabric that mere mortals, individuals, or enterprises may not employ the sacred term "bank" within their names or descriptions. This, too, is a transgression of the law. Furthermore, the central bank imparted the crucial knowledge that facilitating the acceptance of deposits sans the hallowed license is a similar affront to the sanctity of the law.

In their benevolence, the HKMA endeavored to enlighten the public. They wished to convey that these crypto enterprises, not recognized and sanctioned as banks, exist beyond the purview of their watchful eyes. Consequently, any funds entrusted to the care of these self-proclaimed "crypto banks" remain bereft of the protections promised by the region's revered deposit protection scheme.

In recent times, the illustrious city of Hong Kong has been witnessing a determined intensification of efforts to uphold the sanctity of its licensing laws. A most recent event occurred on the fifteenth day of September when the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of this esteemed region felt compelled to issue a caution against JPEX, a cryptocurrency exchange. The purported offense was the ostensible promotion of products and services within the hallowed grounds of Hong Kong without the requisite license or even the courtesy of applying for one.

In the wake of this cautionary admonition from the SFC, the denizens of the exchange appeared to have vanished from their designated abode at the illustrious Token 2049 event held in the vibrant city-state of Singapore. Adding a curious twist to the narrative, the exchange, seemingly to deter the eager populace from seeking the liberation of their funds from its clutches, elevated its withdrawal charges to an unprecedented height—reaching a pinnacle of 999 Tether (USDT) $1.00. Oh, the capricious winds of financial fate!

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