Hong Kong's Markets Regulator Issues Warning Against Crypto Exchange BitForex

1 month ago
Article Source: coindesk

Hong Kong’s regulator for securities and futures markets has warned the public about cryptocurrency exchange BitForex for suspected fraud, it announced on Monday.

On Feb. 23., BitForex went offline after $57 million was reportedly withdrawn from the exchange’s hot wallets. Last year, Japanese regulators flagged BitForex for operating in the country without proper registration.

Hong Kong has been softening its chance on crypto, attempting to become the world’s hub for virtual assets while also trying to police an industry that has seen its fair share of scams. In the past year, it has opened crypto trading for retailers and indicated it would consider applications for spot crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs). At the same time, it has also seen arrests being made, for example, in an investigation related to the crypto exchange JPEX.

“BitForex, purportedly headquartered in Hong Kong, has neither been licensed by the SFC nor applied to the SFC for a license to operate a VATP in Hong Kong,” Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said. BitForex is also licensed to operate in Canada.

The SFC asked the Hong Kong Police Force to block access to relevant website links and social media pages after victims reported that the website of BitForex had been shut down, thus preventing them from accessing their own accounts and withdrawing assets held with BitForex.

BitForex and the Hong Kong police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Read More: Spot Crypto ETF Applications Will Be Considered, Hong Kong Regulators Say



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