Since Hong Kong has set up a licensing regime for crypto companies most global crypto exchanges have expressed their wish to operate in the city and some of them, like Huobi or OKX have already got the desired approval from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. But not everyone got such a luck.
Crypto firms looking to obtain a license in the city still have several concerns, including crypto compliance itself, backlog in licensing application and the price of obtaining the license.
Companies need to comply with the regulatory framework for crypto exchanges and service providers which mandates proper handling of deposits and ensuring the legitimacy of virtual assets.
The high demand for virtual asset licenses in Hong Kong has led to a potential backlog in the processing of applications. This may cause delays in obtaining a license, which can impact a company's operations. Another point is a price of a license.
The price of a crypto license for a Hong Kong crypto firms can vary, but it is generally quite high. Crypto exchanges may have to pay as much as $20 million for the license. Such cost can be substantial and may pose a significant financial burden for smaller companies.
In addition, there are also concerns about the potential impact of Hong Kong's crypto regulations on its relationship with mainland China, where cryptocurrency trading and Bitcoin mining were banned in 2021. Companies may need to consider the potential impact of these regulations on their operations and partnerships with mainland China.
With so many barriers, it’s not surprising that there are still not as many crypto companies in the city, and Hong Kong authorities should still specifically encourage firms to get started.
While Worldcoin is preparing to start massive production of its Orb device, regulators in different countries have expressed concerns about their biometric gathering activities. Data protection offices all around Europe have started investigations into Worldcoin's practices. France's privacy watchdog has questioned the legality of Worldcoin's biometric data collection and the company may also face an inquiry from UK data regulators over same concerns.
The Kenyan government has even suspended Worldcoin operations over concerns about financial security, privacy, and the company's collection of biometric data. The government is investigating the «authenticity and legality” of Worldcoin's activities.
Critics have raised concerns about Worldcoin's practices, including privacy, consent, and use of the collected data, as well as compliance with data protection laws and regulations. The project has also faced criticism from within the fintech world over its dystopian features and privacy concerns.
The Capital Market Authority (CMA) of Oman is in the process of drafting a comprehensive regulatory framework for the virtual asset sector. As part of this process, the CMA has released a consultation paper outlining various proposals for regulating virtual assets, corporate governance, and risk management.
The consultation phase of the development of the virtual asset regime is ongoing, and the CMA will draft and finalize the regulatory framework after receiving feedback from the public. The CMA's proposed regulatory framework aims to establish an alternative financing and investment platform for issuers and investors.
It is encouraging to see Oman's financial regulator seeking feedback from the public on its proposed virtual asset framework. This approach will help ensure that the regulatory framework is comprehensive, effective, and takes into account the needs and concerns of all stakeholders. It is important for regulators to establish clear and transparent rules for the virtual asset sector to promote innovation while protecting investors and consumers.
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