Hong Kong has decided to increase transparency by revealing the names of companies that have applied for retail crypto trading licenses.

This move comes in response to the recent controversy surrounding the trading platform JPEX. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced that it will publish several lists, including licensed virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs), closing-down VATPs, and VATPs deemed licensed as of June 1, 2024.

Additionally, a list of VATP applicants will be made public due to public demand.

To enhance awareness and help the public identify suspicious VATPs in Hong Kong, the SFC plans to issue a dedicated list of these platforms on its website.

Elizabeth Wong, Director of Licensing and Head of Fintech Unit at the SFC, emphasized that disclosing the list of applicants enables the public to scrutinize whether a platform has made false statements regarding license applications.

Currently, four companies are in the preliminary process of applying for licenses, according to local media reports.

This decision by the SFC follows a warning issued on September 13, in which the regulator accused crypto influencers and the trading platform JPEX of making false or misleading statements on social media about applying for a virtual asset trading license in Hong Kong.

Subsequently, Hong Kong police conducted raids related to JPEX operations, leading to the arrest of at least 11 individuals. The authorities also requested that local telecom providers block online access to JPEX.

In response to the police actions, JPEX claimed it had received unfair treatment from the authorities and called on its users in Hong Kong to temporarily refrain from depositing new assets and crypto-assets into the platform.