24 Firms Eyeing Crypto Exchange License in Hong Kong — Here’s The Full List

24 Firms Eyeing Crypto Exchange License in Hong Kong — Here’s The Full List

by February 29, 2024

Today, 29 February, is the deadline for applicants vying for virtual assets trading platform licenses in Hong Kong. Those who fail to secure a crypto exchange license in Hong Kong by this critical date face the daunting prospect of halting operations by 31 May. 

Hong Kong has emerged as a significant battleground for crypto exchange platforms seeking to secure a license from the Securities and Futures Commission. 

This move comes in the wake of the city’s intensified regulatory efforts following the $182 million JPEX scandal, signalling a new era of compliance and security in the digital asset space. 

Among the aspirants, only two platforms, OSL Digital Securities Limited and Hash Blockchain Limited, have been granted the coveted digital asset licenses. 

The arena has 24 crypto exchanges, but the outcome remains uncertain. One thing is clear: The race to secure a virtual assets trading platform license is reaching its climax.

Hong Kong BGE Limited – BGE

Virtual Assets Applicants

Hong Kong BGE Limited (BGE), a subsidiary of HKE Holdings Limited, operates within the digital asset and blockchain industry. 

While the company has operations in both Hong Kong and Singapore, the specific date of its application for operation has not been publicly disclosed on the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) website.

Hong Kong Digital Asset EX Limited – HKbitEX

Established as a digital asset exchange in Hong Kong, HKbitEX facilitates compliant spot and over-the-counter trading. 

While their commitment to regulatory adherence is evident, the precise date of their application remains obscured and is not disclosed on the SFC website.

Hong Kong Virtual Asset Exchange Limited – HKVAX


HKVAX Virtual Assets Applicants


Positioned as one of the pioneering entities in applying for a crypto exchange license, HKVAX emphasises the paramount importance of regulatory compliance. 

According to them, their proactive approach includes securing approval-in-principle from the SFC to carry out Type 1 and Type 7 regulated activities, setting the stage for a seamless transition into the regulated landscape. The exact date of their application remains undisclosed.

Victory Fintech Company Limited – VDX

Virtual Assets Applicants

VDX focuses on providing institutional digital asset solutions, leveraging industry-leading market depth and liquidity. 

The specific date of their application remains veiled in strategic ambiguity and is not disclosed on the SFC website.

Panthertrade (Hong Kong) Limited – PantherTrade


PantherTrade Virtual Assets Applicants


PantherTrade, a subsidiary of Futu Holdings and a digital asset platform, submitted its application on 15 November 2023, marking a decisive move in its quest for regulatory approval in Hong Kong. 

The firm is bolstered by critical appointments, such as the addition of Chen Zhihu, formerly an investment director at Huobi Asset Management (Hong Kong) as a director.

OKX Hong Kong FinTech Company Limited- OKX

OKX OKX Hong Kong FinTech Company Limited- OKX

OKX Hong Kong FinTech Company Limited (OKX HK) was established on 10 February 2023. 

As the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trading volume, OKX officially applied for the license on 16 November 2023, aiming to expand its regional services.


Hong Kong VAEXC Limited – VAEX




Hong Kong VAEXC Limited, trading as VAEX, applied for a license on 25 November 2023. Reports in the local media suggest a connection between VAEX and Binance, particularly pointing out that VAEX retrieves content from Binance’s servers. 

Despite these speculations, VAEX’s CEO, Stanley Fung, has asserted the company’s independence. Binance has also clarified that VAEX is not part of its company, distinguishing it from entities officially affiliated with Binance.

Accumulus GBA Technology (Hongkong) Co., Limited -Accumulus

On 6 December 2023, Accumulus GBA Technology (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd. submitted its application, demonstrating its commitment to aligning with Hong Kong’s regulatory environment for its Web 3.0 projects

Having launched its virtual asset trading platform, Accumulus, in April 2023, the company has updated the platform to version 2.0, marking a significant step in its development within the city.

DFX Labs Company Limited – DFX Labs

DFX Labs Company Limited, based in Hong Kong, was founded on 02 May 2023. The company operates in the digital asset and blockchain sector, offering various services. 

On 27 December 2023, DFX Labs Company Limited applied for a virtual asset trading platform license with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.


Virtual Assets Applicants HKVAEX

HKVAEX, established in December 2022 and operational since February 2023, applied for a license on 4 January 2024. 

According to the South China Morning Post, although HKVAEX, under BX Services Limited, shows ties to Binance through website similarities and shared code, it operates independently in Hong Kong. 

Despite a promotional collaboration describing Binance as a partner, both companies affirm HKVAEX’s independence from the Binance Group.

NewBX Limited- Bixin.com


Crypto Exchange


Bixin.com, initially established as HaoBTC in 2014, applied for a license on 24 January 2024. The platform provides various services, including spot and OTC trading, savings, staking, lending, and NFT creation and trading. 

Bixin.com reports having over one million users, handling over three million transactions yearly and claims to save its users approximately USD$1.85 million in transaction fees annually.

Thousand Whales Technology (BVI) Limited – xWhale


Crypto Exchange


Thousand Whales Technology (BVI) Limited, operating the trading platform’ xWhale,’ submitted its application on 25 January 2024.  

Originating from the Web3 trading platform “BusyWhale,” xWhale was developed by a team of experienced virtual asset entrepreneurs from Hong Kong with backgrounds in traditional finance.

Spark Fintech Limited – Bybit 

On 31 January 2024, ByBit applied for a license through its associated entity, Spark Fintech Limited. 

ByBit operates as an online platform for trading cryptocurrencies and digital assets, offering a suite of products and services, including spot and derivatives trading, opportunities for passive income, a Web3 wallet, and NFT creation and trading.

HighBlock Limited – bitV



On 6 February 2024, HighBlock Limited, a Hong Kong-based company, applied for a license for its online trading platform, bitV, which specialises in cryptocurrencies and digital assets. 

bitV provides diverse products and services, including spot and derivatives trading, passive income opportunities, a Web3 wallet, and NFT creation and trading.

YAX (Hong Kong) Limited -YAX

YAX submitted its license application on 7 February 2024. Founded in June 2022, YAX is a global cryptocurrency exchange offering various services, including virtual asset trading and custody. 

YAX supports highly liquid virtual assets, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and USDT.

Bullish (GI) Limited-Bullish

On 7 February 2024, Bullish, a technology firm focused on the digital assets sector, applied as one of the virtual asset applicants.

The company, which announced its flagship Bullish exchange in December 2021, operates the exchange through Bullish (GI) Limited under the regulation of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission. Bullish has established offices in both Hong Kong and Singapore.


Foris DAX HK Limited- Crypto.com


Foris DAX HK Limited, a crypto exchange company established on 22 August 2018 in Hong Kong, submitted a license application on 9 February 2024. 

The company runs Crypto.com, a platform and exchange for cryptocurrencies offering various services such as spot and derivatives trading, avenues for earning passive income, a Web3 wallet, and the creation and trading of NFTs.

Whalefin Markets Limited – WhaleFin

WhaleFin, a comprehensive digital asset platform featuring services like spot and derivatives trading, mechanisms for earning passive income, a Web3 wallet, and NFT creation and trading, submitted its application for a license on 21 February 2024. 

This platform is a venture of Amber Group, a fintech unicorn, which has garnered support from top-tier investors worldwide.

Willows Asia Technology Company Limited- IBTCex



Willows Asia Technology Company Limited was established on 20 March 2019 and is one of the virtual asset applicants. 

The company, which operates IBTCex, a digital asset trading platform tailored for the Asian market, submitted its license application on 22 February 2024.

HBGL Hong Kong Limited – Huobi HK

Crypto Exchange Hong Kong

The Hong Kong affiliate of HTX, previously known as Huobi Global, resubmitted its application for a license to operate in Hong Kong on 26 February 2024. 

HBGL Hong Kong Limited made this second application for the virtual asset trading platform Huobi HK on Monday, after retracting its initial application on 23 February, as indicated by the list of cryptocurrency exchange license applicants on the SFC website. The company has not made a public statement regarding this action.

Flying Hippo Technologies Limited- Matrixport HK

Virtual Assets Applicants Matrixport

On 26 February 2024, the Hong Kong division of Matrixport, founded by Jihan Wu, applied for a virtual asset trading platform license from the Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission. 

This application makes it one of 21 virtual assets applicants seeking the license. The crypto exchange company currently headquartered in Singapore, serves a customer base in Asia and Europe and is looking to extend its services to Hong Kong.

Gate Digital Limited – Gate.HK


Crypto Exchange Hong Kong


Gate Digital Limited, incorporated on 31 March 2023, submitted its application on 28 February 2024.

Gate.HK began offering registration and trading services on 23 May 2023, providing virtual asset deposits and withdrawals, as well as spot trading for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).

The crypto exchange platform aims to expand its services to accommodate more users, including retail investors and professionals.

hi5 (Hong Kong) Limited – HKX

Crypto Exchange Hong Kong


On 29 February 2024, hi5 (Hong Kong) Limited, operating under the legal entity name, applied for a license.

In anticipation of obtaining this license, the crypto exchange company has launched hkx.hi.com, an independent trading platform tailored to Hong Kong users.

Hong Kong members are advised to buy and sell cryptocurrencies exclusively through this newly established exchange.

QuanX Lab Limited –  QuanXLab


Crypto Exchange Hong Kong


Incorporated on 27 October 2023, QuanX Lab Limited is based in Hong Kong.

The company operates within the digital asset and blockchain sector, offering diverse services, including spot and derivatives trading, Web3 wallets, and the creation and trading of NFTs.

The Hong Kong crypto exchange company applied for a virtual assets platform license on 29 February 2024.


Crypto exchanges who withdrawn or returned its application

Despite a competitive field, it’s worth noting that not all applications have made it through the initial stages.

Three virtual assets applicants, namely AMMBR (HK) LIMITED (Ammbr), BitHarbour (Hong Kong) Limited (BitHarbour), and Meex Digital Securities Limited (Meex), saw their applications either withdrawn or returned, with Meex experiencing this setback on 7 February.

This development highlights the stringent scrutiny and high standards the Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission sets in the dynamic and evolving landscape of virtual asset trading.