Crypto Exchange OKX Withdraws Hong Kong License Application

The exchange's action follows that of Huobi Hong Kong and several other applicants earlier this month.

AccessTimeIconMay 24, 2024 at 12:42 p.m. UTC
Updated May 29, 2024 at 4:41 p.m. UTC
  • OKX, the third-largest crypto exchange, withdrew its application to operate in Hong Kong.
  • The exchange joins a growing number of applicants to have withdrawn from the approval process.
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  • OKX, one of the largest crypto exchanges, said it withdrew its application to provide digital asset services in Hong Kong.

    "After careful consideration of our business strategy, we've decided to withdraw OKX HK's VASP license application at this time," the exchange said on its website.

    The exchange, the third largest by volume traded, according to CoinGecko data, will stop providing centralized virtual asset trading services in the territory by May 31, it said. After that, customers will be able only to withdraw their funds.

    Earlier this month a number of other applicants, including the Hong Kong-based subsidiary of HTX, Huobi Hong Kong, withdrew their applications with the Securities and Futures Commission.

    Many major crypto exchanges, including Crypto.com, and Bullish, the owner of CoinDesk, are currently having their licenses reviewed by the regulator. So far the SFC has approved only two exchanges, the last in 2022.


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    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Sheldon Reback

    Sheldon Reback is a CoinDesk news editor based in London. He owns a small amount of ether.