World's dominant crypto futures market could face regulatory shake-up

Published on by Cointele | Published on

Proposed regulations targeting Hong Kong's blockchain industry could have far-reaching consequences for the crypto derivatives market, according to new research from

In a report published on Wednesday, researcher Mira Christanto said the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, which happens to be the dominant market for crypto futures trading, could be clamping down on unregulated exchanges as part of a broader push for more governance.

The researcher cited a recent proposal from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, or SFC, that would require all crypto businesses to fall under anti-money laundering rules.

Previously, the SFC only regulated assets that meet the legal definition of securities or futures - a definition that excluded cryptocurrencies.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, the Hong Kong government has proposed to bring all cryptoassets under the oversight of its securities regulator.

As Messari notes, Hong Kong just so happens to be the most dominant player in the crypto futures market.

Futures and 57% of Bitcoin futures come from the Special Administrative Region.

"Many people don't realize the role Hong Kong plays in the global cryptocurrency space. Hong Kong is home to some of the largest enterprises and dominates the growing futures market."

Hong Kong host a large presence of cryptocurrency exchanges and market services companies, including BitMEX, Bitfinex, and FTX. Exchanges like OKEx, Huobi and Bybit maintain regional offices in the semi-autonomous city-state.

As Messari notes, to date, only two crypto financial services companies have obtained licenses in Hong Kong.