In their newly released 2017-2018 annual report, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) vowed to keep a close watch on both cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
In their report, the SFC notes that new technology comes with risk, saying they will look closely at cryptocurrencies and ICOs and will intervene when appropriate. The report reveals that the SFC took regulatory action against crypto exchanges and ICO issuers this year, and also released two warnings to investors seeking to invest in crypto.
The government agency’s report also lists supportive actions the agency made in the crypto sphere. Chief among these was the launching of a regulatory sandbox that allowed qualified firms to conduct regulated activities using financial technologies. The SFC also says they are working with the country’s Investor Education Center to create educational materials about crypto, as well as public campaigns aimed at informing the public about the risks of investing in ICOs and cryptocurrencies.
The SFC made its first statement and circular about ICOs on September 2017, with a follow-up circular on December 2017 about the regulatory requirements for cryptocurrency operators. The regulator released another statement last February 2018 after taking action against several crypto-related firms.
In March of this year, the SFC stopped Black Cell Technology’s ICO, ruling that the token was an unregistered security, and ordered the firm to refund its investors.
Earlier in May of this year, a Hong Kong government report concluded that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not particularly involved in illegal activities such as money laundering or terrorist financing.