- Hong Kong financial regulators and local police have formed a joint crypto working group.
- The collaboration aims to combat illegal activities involving virtual asset platforms.
- The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is leading this initiative.
Hong Kong financial regulators announced a new joint crypto working group with local police to combat illegal activities involving virtual asset platforms. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said the collaboration aims to enhance monitoring, information sharing, and investigative capabilities.
In a statement Tuesday, the SFC said the decision followed a late September meeting with the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) amid ongoing developments related to the unauthorized exchange JPEX. Both agencies aim to better assess risks and respond to unlawful crypto trading platforms.
The working group includes officials from the SFC enforcement division and relevant bureaus of the HKPF focused on cybersecurity, financial crimes, and commercial fraud. By pooling resources and intelligence, the coalition hopes to root out problematic industry behavior more effectively.
Regulators welcome opportunity to protect investors
SFC Enforcement Director Christopher Wilson said the regulator welcomes the opportunity to deploy its capabilities alongside law enforcement to protect investors from rogue platforms. HKPF assistant commissioner Eve Chung similarly hailed the initiative.
The joint efforts come as Hong Kong aims to tighten industry oversight following scandals like JPEX. The Dubai-based exchange allegedly operated unlawfully in the region, leading to multiple arrests.
Regulators also published updated lists of licensed exchanges and “suspicious” unlicensed platforms to caution consumers. Ongoing investigations into illegal crypto activities helped spur the latest crackdown.
While regulators weigh new crypto exchange rules, mobilizing multi-agency resources represents a more immediate response. The working group’s informed oversight promises to uproot unlawful operators and activities that harm consumers.
Ongoing collaboration to preemptively stop violations could help mature the region’s cryptocurrency ecosystem. But regulators must still strike a balance, avoiding heavy-handedness that stifles responsible innovation.