Digital asset exchange, Bitget has announced its planned exit from the Hong Kong market on December 13, 2023, citing certain business concerns.
In a Nov 13 press release, the company revealed its plans to exit the Hong Kong market within a month as its local entity BitgetX.hk will close its doors informing users of the next possible steps.
According to the release, Bitget has abandoned plans to obtain a Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) licence in the country pointing fingers at business-related conditions that were not disclosed.
“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that due to business and market-related considerations, we have decided not to apply for a Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license in Hong Kong. Due to this decision, the BitgetX website (www.BitgetX.hk) will cease operations from December 13, 2023.”
Funds must be withdrawn before the deadline
The company noted without the licence, it would be unable to offer related crypto and financial related services in the jurisdiction. The press release also stated possible answers for questions users may have following this new development.
All users are to fully withdraw their assets before December 13, 2023, because the site will cease to be accessible to users making it impossible to manage assets. After this deadline, all funds not withdrawn will become lost by the user unless there is a subsequent announcement.
Furthermore, users will not be able to trade from today and the company will not accept new users. Certain facts remain unknown at this point but the team noted that it will assist users with all details.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and challenges this decision may cause. Our top priority remains ensuring a smooth and orderly offline for all users. Our customer support team can assist with any questions or concerns regarding asset closing and transfer.”
Hong Kong market in distress?
This year, Hong Kong has been hailed as a major digital asset hub for attracting huge investment and improving local regulations. Several digital assets and web3 firms have invested in the country expanding retail and wholesale clients.
Bitget is among cryptocurrency firms that hinted at possible Hong Kong expansion after it joined the Hong Kong Virtual Asset Consortium (HKVAC) which provides rating services for web3 firms among others.
Following the move, Bitget restated its plans to get the VATP licence adding, “We are dedicated to fostering a compliant and secure digital asset ecosystem for the global market, with a special focus on promoting the Web3 industry in Hong Kong.”
Several market watchers have pointed to the suspension of stock market trading by OSL, one of the first digital asset exchanges to acquire Hong Kong’s licence. Some users speculate that Bitget might be invested in the company following reports that the exchange was up for sale in October.