Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, is reportedly the driving force behind establishing a new cryptocurrency trading platform in Hong Kong. The platform, known as HKVAEX, has recently announced its intention to apply for a cryptocurrency license in the city, according to confidential sources cited in an exclusive report by the South China Morning Post on October 25th.
HKVAEX was established by the leading crypto exchange in December 2022 and began its trading operations in February. Its main objective is to acquire a crypto license in Hong Kong, as disclosed by three individuals closely associated with the company, who wish to remain anonymous due to the confidential nature of the information.
Although HKVAEX operates independently under BX Services Limited in Hong Kong, it shares various resources with Binance. Interestingly, the exchange’s website indicates that it utilizes the leading exchange’s servers for content retrieval.
In response to questions regarding its association with the leading exchange, HKVAEX emphasized its independence, stating, “HKVAEX is an independent virtual asset exchange platform based in Hong Kong.” The platform is currently preparing to apply for the Securities and Futures Commission’s virtual asset trading platform license.
A representative from Binance clarified, “HKVAEX is not in the Binance Group of companies.” Its definition of its “Binance group” as an ecosystem distinct from “Binance Affiliates” was highlighted.
In 2023, Hong Kong introduced a new licensing scheme aimed at attracting players in the cryptocurrency industry. The scheme offers legal stability as an incentive. Since its announcement, several exchanges associated with China have expressed their intentions to pursue a Hong Kong license. But Binance, founded in Shanghai in 2017, has remained relatively quiet on this matter.
HKVAEX, under the leadership of CEO Stanley Fung, publicly expressed its plan to apply for Hong Kong’s virtual asset license in a video interview with a Hong Kong crypto YouTuber in July.
The Link Between Binance & HKVAEX
Concerns about the connection between the two exchanges had been raised earlier, with HKVAEX claiming independence but acknowledging that it sourced from global exchanges like Binance. The two companies also collaborated in several events in Hong Kong this year, indicating a close relationship.
Moreover, both companies’ websites share similarities, including code and content delivery domains, suggesting a potential exchange of technical and legal resources. Despite Binance’s CEO promoting Hong Kong’s crypto regime and China’s crypto market, the company has not publicly expressed interest in obtaining its own virtual asset license in Hong Kong.
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