JPEX Scandal Rattles Hong Kong’s Crypto Confidence

A recent survey shows a decline in interest among local crypto investors in Hong Kong.

Angry asian man in a pink suit surrounded by coins.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • A recent survey has revealed how the JPEX scandal may have dampened Hong Kong’s interest in crypto.
  • Many Hong Kong users are swaying from crypto investments and asset holdings.
  • Hong Kong’s financial regulators have tightened regulations to ensure investor protection.  

Hong Kong’s unwavering commitment to becoming a digital hub throughout the year has been a beacon for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. The region has maintained a positive stance towards the asset class, fostering innovation and investor protection through a robust regulatory framework. 

However, these aspirations have recently hit a rough patch, as the infamous scandal involving the Hong Kong-based crypto exchange JPEX has severely dampened public trust and investor sentiment.

Decline in Crypto Interest 

On October 17, the School of Business and Management at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) published initial findings from a survey conducted in the aftermath of the September JPEX debacle.


The ongoing survey indicated a significant shift in investor attitude towards cryptocurrency, revealing that 41% of Hong Kong residents have expressed disinterest in crypto asset holding. The results mark a sharp 12% shift from a previous survey held in May, where only 29% of respondents shared this sentiment.

Additionally, the survey found that merely 20% of the respondents were willing to invest in crypto, citing concerns about the safety and legitimacy of digital assets.

Associate Dean of the HKUST Business School, Prof. Allen HUANG, emphasized that the alleged financial fraud has increased scrutiny of virtual assets. He stated, “Virtual assets are an emerging asset class with potential to spur innovation and growth in the financial sector. Market incidents in Hong Kong and overseas show that they also entail significant risks and challenges for investors and regulators,” underlining the JPEX scandal as the catalyst for the shift in investor sentiment.

The JPEX Fallout And Regulatory Response

On September 13, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) launched a probe into JPEX’s unregulated operations as a virtual asset trading platform following several user complaints.


The exchange attracted attention at launch and ultimately defrauded over 2,305 local investors of a combined US$434 million by restricting account access and manipulating balance sheets.

The scandal highlighted the crypto industry’s lack of proper regulation and oversight,  prompting financial regulators to set up new responsive measures. 

On October 5th, the  SFC launched a new set of initiatives to provide more detailed information on licensed and unlicensed platforms and provide increased transparency to reinforce investor protection. A new crypto task force was simultaneously launched in October, comprising individuals from the various intelligence teams to prevent further damage within the region’s financial industry.

Several individuals associated with the exchange were arrested by Hong Kong authorities, including influencers accused of promoting the unregulated crypto exchange.  

On the Flipside

  • Amid the SFC probe, JPEX announced plans to convert its platform into a decentralized autonomous organization through an incentivized asset lock-up plan (DAO Shareholder Dividend Program).
  • Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange OSL is reportedly planning a strategic sell-off at $128 million after months of losses and non-profitability. 
  • In collaboration with Hong Kong’s Investor and Financial Education Council, the SFC plans to launch public awareness campaigns to educate crypto investors and enthusiasts about potential fraud risks to enable them to make better-informed decisions.

Why This Matters

As Hong Kong grapples with the aftermath of this scandal, the region faces the daunting task of restoring faith in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The consequences of the scandal extend far beyond Hong Kong, as it could significantly impact crypto adoption on a global scale.

Read more on Hong Kong’s ambitions of becoming a leading crypto hub:

Hong Kong Unveils New Recommendations to Boost Blockchain Leadership 

Blockchain platform Fantom Foundation suffered a hot wallet exploit through a third party. Read more: 

Fantom Foundation Suffers Third-Party Hot Wallet Exploit

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Grace Abidemi

Grace Abidemi, a cryptocurrency reporter at DailyCoin, covers industry developments and trends. She previously worked as a freelance writer. With a Bachelor's degree in German Language and certifications in marketing and storytelling, Grace creates engaging content. When not working, she's in Nigeria, mastering cooking and canvas painting, and enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.