Interactive Brokers (Nasdaq: IBKR), an automated global electronic broker, announced on Thursday that it formed a collaboration with OSL Digital Securities to enable it to offer virtual asset dealing services in Hong Kong.
Once launched, Interactive Brokers will offer digital asset services directly to its professional investor trading clients in Hong Kong, powered by OSL- the world’s first Type 1 and 7 Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)-licensed digital asset brokerage and trading platform for professional investors.
David Friedland, Head of APAC at Interactive Brokers, talked about the development and said: “Investors worldwide are rallying to digital asset markets, and the collaboration with OSL comes at a key moment in the development of the regulated digital asset ecosystem in Hong Kong. As investors seek reliable counterparties with which to transact, we are excited to work with a company like OSL, that has the industry expertise to help us meet the growing needs of our client base in this region.”
Wayne Trench, OSL CEO, also commented: “OSL is a global leader in regulatory compliant digital asset trading and custody and we’re thrilled to work with Interactive Brokers. Hong Kong has one of the world’s highest concentrations of institutional and professional investors, as well as a clear regulatory regime around digital assets, making it the ideal location for this landmark arrangement as digital assets continue to be integrated into the global financial services ecosystem.”
Interest in Digital Assets Rising Fast
Tokens, cryptocurrencies, and digital assets have captured rising attention in Hong Kong. For instance, in December last year, PwC Hong Kong, an insurance giant, partnered with the Animoca Brands subsidiary in purchasing a virtual land in the Sandbox metaverse.
Besides that, NFTs have significantly dominated discussions in the Hong Kong blockchain ecosystem – a bridge connecting blockchain startups and major financial institutions in Hong Kong.
Furthermore, there is a massive development in the Hong Kong regulatory landscape. In January, The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a joint circular, which for the first time allowed registered firms and licensed companies to offer digital asset investment services by partnering only with SFC-licensed virtual asset trading platforms.
The agreement between Interactive Brokers and OSL is the first collaboration between one of the largest SFC-regulated online brokers serving professional investors in Hong Kong and an SFC-licensed institutional digital asset brokerage and exchange.
The partnership proves that the joint HKMA-SFC circular is a crucial tool that is building a more competitive and robust digital asset market in Hong Kong. The circular is also likely to accelerate the development and acceptance of regulated digital assets in Asia and worldwide.
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