The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) last week took a significant step in its regulation of virtual asset activities by establishing a new, opt-in regulatory sandbox framework for virtual asset trading platform operators, proposing new licensing requirements for portfolio managers and imposing new requirements on fund distributers engaged in virtual asset activities.  These actions were issued through several documents, including a “Circular to intermediaries – Distribution of virtual assets funds” (the “Circular”) and a “Statement on regulatory framework for virtual asset portfolios managers, fund distributors and trading platform operators” (the “Statement”, together with the Circular, the “November 2018 Updates”) and discussed in a speech by Mr. Ashley Alder, CEO of the SFC.

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