SEBA Bank Receives In-Principle Approval From Hong Kong To Provide Crypto Services

Aug. 31, 2023
SEBA Bank Receives In-Principle Approval From Hong Kong To Provide Crypto Services

On 30 August, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) granted preliminary approval to the local arm of SEBA Bank, a Swiss-based crypto-friendly bank. The announcement comes amid a growing number of crypto projects in Hong Kong, showing the favorable environment for crypto assets in the financial hub.

SEBA Hong Kong said its in-principle approved license enables it to engage in various crypto-related activities. This includes dealing in securities, encompassing crypto-related products such as over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives and structured products.

The bank will also provide advisory services for both virtual assets and traditional securities, along with asset management for discretionary accounts.

Amy Yu, the Asia-Pacific CEO of SEBA Hong Kong, told Cointelegraph that Hong Kong offers immense potential due to the SFC’s digital asset regulatory framework and the city’s legal system. Yu highlighted that while crypto trading is currently restricted in mainland China, Hong Kong is “well-positioned to enter the Chinese market when it opens up.”

She further stated:

“SEBA Hong Kong commends the example Hong Kong sets for regulatory standards worldwide, and values the role of this licence in expanding our regulated footprint across Asia Pacific.”

SEBA Bank offers traditional banking and crypto services such as staking, lending, trading, and custody In Switzerland. In November 2022, it opened a new office in Hong Kong and is also considering expanding to other crypto hubs in the region, such as Singapore.

Moreover, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has urged big financial companies to partner with crypto exchanges. ZA Bank, Hong Kong’s largest online bank, also entered the crypto space in April by providing conversion and transfer services.

Hong Kong Warns Crypto Investors

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission recently warned its citizens to be careful when dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges. The SFC reported that many companies are operating under fake Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licenses. 

Introduced in June, the VASP license allows approved companies to provide virtual asset services in a regulated manner in Hong Kong. However, the SFC said only two cryptocurrency exchanges, Hashkey and OSL, have obtained licenses. Moreover, the Hong Kong Virtual Asset Exchange (HKVAX) received an in-principle approval on Aug. 11 to operate a virtual asset trading platform.

Syed Ali Haider

Researcher & Editor
Ali Haider is a Blockchain enthusiast and writer passionate about enhancing the acceptance, adoption, and integration of Blockchain technology worldwide. He has also advocated for digital freedom and cybersecurity for many years.