Interactive Brokers, a global brokerage firm with headquarters in the United States, announced the launch of its crypto trading services for institutional clients in Hong Kong on Feb. 14. The crypto trading services were launched in association with OSL Digital Securities, a Securities and Futures Commission-licensed digital asset brokerage and trading platform for professional investors.
Individuals with more than 8 million Hong Kong dollars ($1 million) in investable assets, or institutions with HK$40 million ($6 million), who are Hong Kong residents, can now trade cryptocurrency alongside other asset classes available on the Interactive Brokers platform.
Investors previously had to use a variety of trading platforms from various brokers and exchanges in order to trade cryptocurrencies and other asset classes. However, investors can trade cryptocurrency and view balances through a single platform that offers a unified view by using the Interactive Broker platform.
Clients of Interactive Brokers use centralized cash management to trade stocks, options, futures, bonds, event contracts, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds from a single screen in addition to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
The launch of crypto trading services occurs at a critical juncture in Hong Kong’s regulated digital asset market development. Paul Chan, the financial secretary for Hong Kong, stated in January that the Hong Kong government is open to working with cryptocurrency and fintech businesses in 2023. The official added that many business organizations wanted to increase their operations in Hong Kong or to list on local exchanges.
In December 2022, lawmakers in Hong Kong approved legislation to create a licensing scheme for companies that offer services related to virtual assets. The new regulatory framework is intended to give cryptocurrency exchanges the same level of market acceptance as the one that is currently in place for traditional financial institutions.