Crypto Bank Seba Wins In-Principle Approval to Operate in Hong Kong

Approval is the first step in acquiring a full license for Seba Hong Kong to deal in crypto or virtual assets-related products and traditional securities.

AccessTimeIconAug 30, 2023 at 8:20 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 6, 2023 at 2:46 p.m. UTC
Drive the Crypto Policy Conversation Forward
October 24, 2023 • Convene • Washington D.C.Where the industry establishes the digital economy’s legal, regulatory and compliance best practices for the future.Register Now

Seba, a crypto bank based in Switzerland, said it won approval-in-principle (AIP) from Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for its regional subsidiary as it looks to extend its international presence.

The approval is the first step in acquiring a full license for Seba Hong Kong to deal in crypto or virtual assets-related products and traditional securities. Hong Kong's new regulatory regime came into effect in June in an effort to attract firms to the region. The Zug-based bank received an Abu Dhabi Global Market license in February, 2022.

"Complementing Seba Group’s established licenses in Switzerland (FINMA) and Abu Dhabi (FSRA), the Hong Kong AIP significantly extends our global regulatory footprint," CEO Franz Bergmueller said in a statement. "Seba Group aligns itself with the Hong Kong government and its financial regulators in facilitating an environment that supports the responsible growth of the digital assets industry."

The SFC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Seba was founded in 2018 and in 2019 became the first digital asset company to receive a license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) to offer banking and securities and services. By January 2022, it had raised nearly $250 million, including a Series C funding round of $119 million for global expansion.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is CoinDesk's regulatory reporter covering India. He holds BTC and ETH below CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.