Hong Kong Legislative Council member Johnny Ng has reached out to Coinbase with the intention of assisting the exchange in registering in the region, as stated in a tweet on June 14.
Ng’s tweet read: “I have already made contact with Coinbase, and together we will explore the development opportunities in Hong Kong.”
On June 10, Ng extended an invitation to global virtual asset trading operators, including the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, to apply for operation in Hong Kong. He emphasized his willingness to offer any necessary support to ensure a smooth process. This public offer comes in the wake of recent regulatory challenges faced by cryptocurrency firms in the United States. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently filed lawsuits against Coinbase and Binance, two major crypto platforms, alleging violations of federal securities laws. Prior to the SEC’s legal action, Coinbase had been actively pursuing offshore expansion as a response to the unfavorable regulatory climate in the United States.
In May, Coinbase launched an international exchange to broaden its reach beyond the U.S. This platform enables institutional traders to access Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) perpetual futures. Additionally, Coinbase announced a partnership with Austrian fintech firm Bitpanda, aimed at extending its institutional trading services to a global audience.
Nana Murugesan, the Vice President of International & Business Development at Coinbase, later revealed that the exchange was considering the United Arab Emirates as the hub for its international services in the Middle East. However, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has consistently emphasized the company’s commitment to maintaining a U.S. presence.
Hong Kong has been actively working towards establishing a regulatory framework that enables compliant operations for cryptocurrency firms within its jurisdiction. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) recently announced its intention to introduce a comprehensive regulatory framework for stablecoins within the next 18 months. These efforts are aimed at attracting market participants from countries such as the U.S. that have more stringent regulations.
Several cryptocurrency exchanges, including Huobi, CoinEx, and OKX, have already set up operations in Hong Kong since the region allowed retail access to crypto trading on June 1.