SEBA Hong Kong, the regional arm of the namesake Swiss crypto bank, secured an approval-in-principle (AIP) from the city’s securities regulator on Wednesday. The approval marks the initial step toward becoming a licensed virtual asset service provider in crypto-friendly Hong Kong.
SEBA Completes First Step Toward Becoming Licensed Virtual Asset Entity
On Wednesday, traditional and digital asset banking giant SEBA obtained an in-principal approval from Hong Kong’s securities regulator to operate regulated activities in the city.
According to the press release, the permit is the initial approval for SEBA’s license application to deal in securities, including digital asset products like over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives and structured products, which offer guidance on securities and virtual assets. Further, once it obtains the full license, SEBA Hong Kong will also be able to “conduct asset management for discretionary accounts in both traditional securities and virtual assets.”
When issued, the license will make SEBA Hong Kong one of the first licensed corporations in Hong Kong to provide crypto-related investment services. In other words, the Swiss-regulated bank is set to become a frontrunner in Hong Kong’s flourishing Web3 sector.
The AIP approval represents the first step toward obtaining an official license from Hong Kong regulators once all conditions outlined by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) are met.
Hong Kong’s Web3 Push
SEBA’s expansion into Hong Kong highlights the renewed focus on the city, driven by its substantial efforts to regulate the crypto sector and ignite Web3 innovation. The new strategy emerged in October 2022, when the Hong Kong government announced plans to launch a mandatory licensing program to legalize crypto trading.
Since then, the city has been on an aggressive campaign, unveiling back-to-back initiatives geared towards promoting and facilitating the Web3 space, aiming to reclaim its digital hub status. One such effort was launching a virtual asset training program last month.
Similarly, Hong Kong established a special task force in July to accelerate the growth of its Web3 ecosystem. The task force is spearheaded by the city’s Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, alongside other official and non-government members.
This article originally appeared on The Tokenist
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