Interactive Brokers Opens Crypto Trading for Retail Clients in Hong Kong
Interactive Brokers, one of the largest brokerage firms in the world, has announced that it is now offering crypto trading for retail clients in Hong Kong. The service is being provided in partnership with OSL, a crypto exchange that has received a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license in Hong Kong.
According to the developers, Interactive Brokers’ retail investors in Hong Kong now have immediate access to digital asset trading through a single unified platform powered by OSL. This means that Hong Kong clients of Interactive Brokers can now hold Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH) in their personal accounts alongside stocks, derivatives, commodities, forex, and other assets.
Each trade made through the platform will be charged a commission ranging from 0.20% to 0.30% of the transaction value.
This announcement comes after Interactive Brokers recently received a license for retail virtual asset trading in Hong Kong. However, the license currently only allows the firm to broker trades of Bitcoin and Ethereum. It remains to be seen if the firm will expand its offerings to include other cryptocurrencies in the future.
In November, BC Technology Group, the owner of the OSL exchange, announced that it had received a $90 million equity investment from blockchain firm BGX. This investment came after the firm had considered selling the OSL exchange for $1 billion Hong Kong dollars (approximately $128 million).
While Hong Kong was one of the first jurisdictions to issue licenses for cryptocurrency exchanges, the industry has faced challenges due to a series of exchange scandals. In September, JPEX, one of the region’s largest crypto exchanges, collapsed, leading to 66 arrests and an estimated loss of 1.6 billion Hong Kong dollars (approximately $205 million). Just last week, another unlicensed crypto exchange in Hong Kong, Hounax, reportedly scammed 145 residents out of 148 million HKD (approximately $18.9 million) through an alleged Ponzi scheme.
This move by Interactive Brokers to offer crypto trading for retail clients in Hong Kong demonstrates the growing demand for digital assets in the region. As more traditional financial institutions embrace cryptocurrencies, it is likely that we will see further adoption and integration of digital assets into mainstream finance.