BTC saw a modest bump following the news that Hong Kong will be relaxing crypto trading. However, so far, the OG cryptocurrency looks set for a less-than-exciting May. From a regulatory standpoint, Hong Kong is still a tough jurisdiction for crypto in many ways. Partly as a result of pressure from mainland China.
Bitcoin’s price has pumped in reaction to the news that Hong Kong is taking a pro-crypto direction, according to a CNBC report. On Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission announced it will allow retail trading of some crypto assets from June 1.
Hong Kong Drives Rally
BTC pumped from around $26,800 at 1:10 a.m. UTC to $27,384 just over two hours later. An increase of over 2%, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin has been struggling to break the $27,000 mark since last Thursday.
The world’s oldest cryptocurrency has followed negative trends for most of May. Although it is still well above the roughly $16,500 it entered the year with.
Bitcoin also did not see a much-anticipated “Pizza Day” spike. Pizza Day celebrates the yearly anniversary of the first ever real-world transaction using Bitcoin, where 10,000 units were exchanged for two pizzas on May 22, 2010.
Yet Bitcoin is still seeing a prolonged period of dominance compared to other cryptocurrencies, sitting above 45% since the beginning of March.
Bitcoin Approved for Retail Investing
Hong Kong has just finished a consultation period regarding the policy where they had received 152 written submissions.
“A significant majority of respondents agreed to our proposal to allow licensed trading platform operators to serve retail investors,” read an official statement.
The regulator invited crypto firms to register with them, but stressed those that wouldn’t should “proceed to an orderly closure of their business in Hong Kong.”
The announcement also emphasized that the SFC has not approved any virtual asset trading platform. It also made clear that most available trading services are not regulated by the SFC. Exchanges in Hong Kong can also only list a small number of digital assets.
Hong Kong Still Strict on Crypto
The Chinese city has a history as a financial hub going back decades. Although, its approach to digital assets has been more cautious. No doubt influenced by the government of the Chinese mainland, which has taken a very hard line against the sector.
On May 9, Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive Eddie Yue said that regulations “will be tight.”
“We will let them create the ecosystem here, and that actually brings a lot of excitement. But that doesn’t mean light-touch regulation,” he told the Bloomberg Wealth Asia Summit.