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Binance Entity HKVAEX Withdraws License Application, to Exit Hong Kong Amid Regulatory Clampdown

HKVAEX to cease Hong Kong operations after withdrawing its license application amid regulatory changes.

In a significant move, HKVAEX, the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange known for its alleged ties with Binance, withdrew its operational license application on March 28, signaling its impending exit from the Hong Kong market amidst tighter regulatory scrutiny.

HKVAEX Halts License Bid Amidst Tightening Regulations, Exits Hong Kong Market

HKVAEX, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange allegedly linked to Binance, withdrew its license application from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) on March 28.

The SFC had set a February 29 deadline for all cryptocurrency exchanges to apply for regional operational licenses. HKVAEX, a cryptocurrency exchange that, according to Chinese state media South China Morning Post, shares technical and other resources with Binance, applied for a Hong Kong license on January 4.

The SFC website confirms that HKVAEX withdrew its license application nearly three months after submission. Following the application withdrawal, HKVAEX must cease operations in Hong Kong on or before May 31.

Three other virtual asset trading platforms, including the well-known global cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, have withdrawn their operational license applications for 2024 for reasons that have not been disclosed.

Wu Blockchain, a member of the crypto Twitter community, speculated that the withdrawal could be for various reasons, including a request to change the audit company or provide additional information.

CommEx Shuts Down Amidst Crypto Market Turbulence, Distances Itself from Binance

At the time of its launch, HKVAEX was confused with VAEX, a different Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange affiliated with KuCoin.

"VAEXC is another applicant, and they have nothing to do with us," an HKVAEX representative told Cointelegraph at the time.

CommEx, a Russian cryptocurrency exchange with close ties to Binance, has officially announced its closure and halted deposits on March 25. “We have to announce the gradual suspension of operations on the CommEX platform,” the firm said, recommending users to withdraw their assets immediately to third-party wallets.

Binance had previously hinted at leaving Russia in early September 2023, as top local executives, including vice president of Eastern Europe Gleb Kostarev, resigned.

CommEx later clarified that it operated independently of Binance but admitted that some of its core members were former Binance employees.

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