New anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations need to exclude Hong Kong’s bitcoin automated teller machines (ATMs) in order to sustain innovation, according to the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

  • Hong Kong regulators have stepped up their supervision of the cryptocurrency industry and are in the process of introducing new regulations that will restrict the city's digital currency trading by prohibiting them from serving retail investors.
  • The government’s plan to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges in Hong Kong could mean ATMs may also be off-limits unless an appeal to exclude them from the extended regulations goes ahead, said the report.
  • “Stricter oversight of bitcoin has created uncertainties for start-ups and their blockchain-related investments,” said Leo Weese, co-founder of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, the SCMP reported.
  • Weese added, “To restrict retail individuals from accessing bitcoin would be overshooting the government’s goals of promoting innovation and financial inclusion.” 
  • There are around 60 bitcoin ATMs across Hong Kong where users can buy and sell digital currencies, the SCMP said.

Read more: Hong Kong’s Securities Watchdog May Soon Regulate All Crypto Trading Platforms

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