Hong Kong: Crypto’s Latest Hub as US Crypto Firms Relocate Offshore

US Exit by Crypto Companies

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a more stringent regulatory approach, leading to companies like Coinbase, Kraken and Binance warning they might leave the US in the event that regulators do not come up with clear regulations.
• Binance has ended partnerships and trading activities in the US, while Coinbase has received a licence for the Bahamas.
• Huobi and OKX have both exited after earlier crackdowns and are now applying for SFC licences.

Hong Kong as a Viable Crypto Hub

In light of increased regulation by the SEC and other authorities, crypto firms are looking towards Hong Kong as a potential hub for their businesses. The city is committed to virtual assets, offering 24-hour services from Signature Bank and SVB to quickly settle cryptocurrency transactions. Smaller banks may also be open to working with unlicensed crypto companies despite high compliance standards. Obtaining a licence requires compliance assessments which can be difficult but is necessary for any company looking to make use of Hong Kong’s crypto friendly regulations.

Binance’s Response

In response to increasing regulatory pressure, Binance has taken steps such as ending partnerships and trading activities in the US. They have also recently received a license for the Bahamas which has excited many in the crypto community.

Huobi & OKEX’s Response

Huobi and OKEX – both founded on mainland China but having exited after earlier crackdowns – have announced they are applying for SFC licences in order to stay competitive in this rapidly changing market.


Despite challenges posed by obtaining licensing requirements, Hong Kong remains an attractive option due its relatively lax stance on cryptocurrencies compared with other markets such as mainland China where cryptocurrencies have been banned or even countries like the United States who seem to take an anti-crypto stance. As such many companies are turning towards Hong Kong in search of opportunity offered by its new licensing regime providing them access to banking services and 24/7 offerings from smaller banks who may be more open to working with unlicensed crypto firms than larger establishments due to their relative lack of resources or knowledge about compliance standards necessary within this industry