Overview of Crypto regulations

What are the proposed guidelines for licensed virtual asset trading platform operators?

It is proposed that VA trading platforms licensed by the SFC shall comply with the Guidelines for Virtual Asset Trading Platform Operators (VATP Guidelines). The VATP Guidelines will be published under section 399 of the SFO and section 53ZTK of the AMLO (Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance). 

According to SFC (Consultation Paper)
last revised 20 February 2023

19. The proposed VATP Guidelines are based on the existing regulatory requirements applicable to SFO-licensed platform operators, and particularly, the Terms and Conditions for VA Trading Platform Operators13 (VATP Terms and Conditions). The existing requirements include the following:

  1. Safe custody of assets 
  2. Know-Your-Client
  3. AML/CFT
  4. Conflicts of interest
  5. Admission of virtual assets for trading
  6. Prevention of market manipulative and abusive activities
  7. Accounting and auditing
  8. Risk management

20. The proposed VATP Guidelines cover both licensing requirements and conduct requirements applicable to VA trading platforms but contain certain modifications to the existing requirements, having taken into account the comments received from industry participants and relevant stakeholders over the past years and during the recent soft consultation.

21. After the AMLO VASP regime comes into effect, the VATP Terms and Conditions which are currently imposed as licensing conditions on SFO-licensed VA trading platforms will be superseded. The SFC will remove the corresponding licensing conditions from the licences of the current SFO-licensed platform operators. Going forward, all platform operators, whether licensed under the SFO and/or the AMLO, will be subject to the VATP Guidelines.