LAB51 logo

SEBA Bank Secures Approval for Hong Kong Crypto Services

crypto hong kong
By Luigi Savarese
Luigi Savarese

2 Min

August 31, 2023

SEBA Bank can offer crypto services in Hong Kong. The Swiss bank that supports cryptocurrencies received initial approval from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for offering the service.

This approval allows SEBA Bank to offer over-the-counter:

  • Derivatives
  • Virtual asset advice
  • Asset management services for discretionary accounts - including digital assets and traditional securities.

However, the Hong Kong branch cannot convert fiat currencies to cryptocurrencies. Clients can go to SEBA Bank's headquarters in Zug, Switzerland. It will have the necessary license for such conversions. SEBA Bank already applied for licenses in Switzerland and Abu Dhabi and is preparing to commence operations in Hong Kong. Amy Yu, CEO of SEBA Bank's Asia Pacific region, expects the final license by the end of 2023.

SEBA Bank's decision to apply for a license in Hong Kong was driven by demand from crypto firms needing help managing and accessing their digital asset holdings through traditional channels. Private wealth clients and family offices also showed significant interest.

LAB51 on Hong Kong Crypto Services

The recent approval of SEBA Bank in Hong Kong marks a positive milestone for the crypto industry in the region. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) shows openness to regulate crypto services. This will lead to greater legitimacy and attract institutional investment. However, it is worth noting that SEBA Bank cannot convert fiat currencies to cryptocurrencies. This may potentially limit its appeal to certain investors.

Additionally, the SFC has yet to establish specific rules and regulations for crypto services. This could pose challenges to SEBA Bank's operations and discourage other crypto firms from applying for licenses in Hong Kong. To fully realize the potential of the industry in Hong Kong, several questions must be answered. These include the specific regulations the SFC will implement as well as how they will be enforced, how investors will be protected from fraud, and how innovation will be encouraged.

The answers to these questions will be crucial in shaping the future of the crypto industry in Hong Kong. It is important for the SFC to take a balanced approach to regulation that safeguards investors while promoting innovation. Once these challenges resolved, Hong Kong has the potential to emerge as a major hub for innovation and investment in the crypto industry.