February 22, 2024

Bitget drops plans to seek crypto license in Hong Kong

Cryptocurrency trading platform BitgetX has dropped plans to obtain a Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license in Hong Kong, citing business and market-related considerations.

Bitget officially announced on Nov. 13 that its Hong Kong division, BitgetX, accessible by the domain BitgetX.hk, will cease operations by Dec. 13, 2023.

As BitgetX decided not to apply for a VATP license, the firm will have to permanently withdraw from the Hong Kong market, the announcement notes.

The company has strongly encouraged users to withdraw crypto assets from BitgetX before Dec. 13. “After this date, the BitgetX website will no longer be accessible and you will not be able to manage or access your assets on BitgetX,” the statement noted.

BitgetX emphasized that users will not be able to trade their assets on the platform immediately as only withdrawals will be available. The exchange will also stop accepting new users starting from Nov. 13, the announcement said.

Launched in 2018, Bitget is a major global crypto exchange, trading nearly one million in crypto per day, according to data from CoinGecko. The exchange’s Hong Kong division has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to obtain the VATP license in compliance with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission’s new crypto framework, which entered into force in June 2023.

Related: Bitget integrates DeFi aggregator into crypto exchange app

The news came as OSL, one of the first crypto exchanges to acquire a Hong Kong crypto license, announced the suspension of stock market trading on Nov. 13. The exchange halted trading OSL shares on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong at the request of its operator, BC Technology.

According to industry sources, there has been an unconfirmed report that Bitget has acquired or invested in the OSL business. In October, OSL operator BC Technology reportedly considered selling the OSL exchange for $1 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $128 million. On November 14, OSL announced a $90 million stock acquisition by cryptocurrency firm BGX. 

Update Nov 14. 2023 11:57PM UTC: Added new information with regards to the $90 million acquisition of stock in BC Technology, 

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