The Switzerland-based financial institution that focuses on cryptocurrencies – SEBA Bank – has reportedly secured an approval-in-principle from Hong Kong’s securities regulator.
The company now needs to comply with additional conditions for final approval before being eligible to provide digital asset services to local consumers.
One Step Away From Offering Crypto Services
Based on a Bloomberg coverage, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission intends to grant the Swiss organization an authorization to engage in securities dealing, such as providing crypto-related structured products and managing digital assets, once it meets necessary regulatory requirements.
SEBA Bank offers both traditional finance services and such involving cryptocurrencies. It can act as a custodian, while clients are also able to stake Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), and Tezos (XTZ).
Amy Yu – Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer at the company – said SEBA Bank has seen an increasing demand for derivatives from cryptocurrency firms seeking to hedge their positions.
She added that the interest in structured products is also high, claiming that the final approval from Hong Kong’s regulators should come by the end of 2023.
The exec explained that SEBA Bank will aim to aid local crypto firms that lack brokerage services, suggesting those are “generally not as connected with traditional financial markets providers.”
As CryptoPotato reported earlier in April, the authorities of China’s special administrative region planned to host a meeting between bankers and domestic digital asset businesses to establish closer ties between the two sectors. Prior to that, the Hong Kong subsidiaries of the Bank of China, the Bank of Communications, and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank started offering their services to local crypto firms.
Yu said the organization will focus on high-net-worth individuals and family offices. SEBA Bank’s Asian ambitions don’t end with Hong Kong, with Singapore being potentially the next destination, she concluded:
“We did concentrate on Hong Kong to start, it is the first jurisdiction in the region. But we are still exploring Singapore.”
Paying Special Attention to Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s friendly approach to the cryptocurrency industry has become a reason for multiple digital asset firms to explore the region.
Jeremy Allaire – co-founder and CEO of the stablecoin-issuer Circle – said in June that his organization has been closely following the regulatory developments in the Asian megalopolis. He also noted Hong Kong’s efforts to emerge as a “very significant center for digital markets and for stablecoins.”
Allaire argued earlier this year that the regulatory uncertainty in the US could push investors outside the country. He claimed that the local government should act fast, highlighting the progress in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the European Union.
Leading cryptocurrency exchanges have also targeted China’s special administrative region. OKX applied for a virtual asset service providers (VASPs) license in March, while Huobi started offering crypto spot trading and custody services at the beginning of the summer.