JPEX Drama Shows Need for Crypto Regime, Hong Kong Leader Says

The territory’s leader urged investors to use licensed platforms and promised more education about crypto risks.

AccessTimeIconSep 19, 2023 at 9:44 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 28, 2023 at 3:16 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The freezing of funds on Hong Kong-based crypto exchange JPEX shows the need for strong crypto licensing laws, the territory’s leader, John Lee, told reporters Tuesday.

Hong Kong police arrested six people including two social media influencers after more than a thousand complaints involving a total of $128 million were filed about the exchange, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.

“This incident highlights the importance that when investors want to invest in virtual assets, then they must invest on platforms that are licensed" and regulated by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Lee said according to remarks published on his website. “We will be doing more public education for investors to know the risks.”

The SFC accused JPEX of operating without a license, and the crypto exchange has said its “unfair” treatment by regulators could jeopardize Hong Kong’s ambitions to become a Web3 hub.

While some are concerned about a tighter grip that could potentially be imposed by crypto-skeptic Beijing, Hong Kong’s regime has been compared favorably with those such as the U.S. that don’t offer the same regulatory clarity, by companies such as Ripple.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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

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; 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.

Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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.

Read more about