In February, Bitcoin managed to recover all its losses since last year’s FTX drama. Now, BTC, ETH, and most major cryptocurrencies have continued to grow in value, recording small but solid gains throughout the month. This news may come as a surprise for many, as regulatory scrutiny against market players was rather harsh this month.
As per regulations, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has toughened its stance against crypto market players. On February 15, the agency announced that a five-member panel passed a vote on a proposal that would amend the 2009 Custody Rule and make it more challenging for cryptocurrency businesses to offer digital asset custodian services in the future. While the industry is waiting for official approval in the matter, the SEC continued its crackdown against crypto, triggering $32 million of weekly outflows at the institutional fund manager CoinShares. Furthermore, the agency filed a lawsuit against Terraform Labs and Do Kwon, the company and its founder behind the now defunct Terra blockchain, for allegedly orchestrating a multi-billion dollar digital asset securities fraud.
At the same time, while China imposed a blanket ban on crypto activities in 2021, Hong Kong’s regulations enabled industry firms to operate but with strict rules. For example, retail cryptocurrency trading is prohibited in the special administrative region. However, it seems Hong Kong is now taking a bullish stance toward the digital asset space. With plans to become a regional crypto hub, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) proposed new regulatory requirements for cryptocurrency trading platforms that now enables market players to acquire a license to operate in Hong Kong with the ability to serve retail investors. As a result, crypto exchanges Huobi and OKX are now looking to get licensed in the special administrative region.
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