SFC Vows Tougher Stance on Sus Crypto Platforms Post-JPEX

Hong Kong’s financial regulator increases scrutiny of the crypto industry following the JPEX scandal.

LUI Tim Leung, chairman of FSC, overlooking Hong Kong with a reassuring smile.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • The SFC tightens industry rules in the wake of the JPEX scandal. 
  • Members of the public are encouraged to report suspicious encounters.
  • The number of complaints against JPEX continues to rise.

Cryptocurrency exchange scandals have become common, eroding investor trust in the burgeoning crypto asset markets. The latest case of wrongdoing relates to the alleged fraud committed by Dubai-based JPEX, which has left investors reeling from losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The debacle has sparked public outrage and demands for greater cryptocurrency oversight in Hong Kong, forcing the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to respond with a range of tightening measures designed to increase scrutiny of digital asset trading platforms operating in the city-state.

The SFC Steps Up

To prevent another major crypto exchange scandal, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has announced a series of initiatives to reinforce protections and restore confidence among virtual asset investors and its markets. 

As part of a new set of initiatives, the SFC will take the lead in publishing more detailed information on licensed and unlicensed platforms and providing increased transparency around the license application status of crypto platforms. 

Alongside this come direct efforts to combat deceptive practices. The SFC will collaborate with Hong Kong’s Investor and Financial Education Council to launch public awareness campaigns to warn the general populace of potential fraud risks, enabling them to make better-informed decisions.

In tandem with its educational initiatives, the SFC has pledged to bolster its intelligence-gathering capabilities to detect potential misconduct faster. The financial regulator has vowed swift enforcement action and referral to the police in cases of severe criminal activity. 

Stressing the importance of collaborative effort, the SFC called on members of the public to support its intelligence-gathering initiatives by directly reporting suspicious activity. 

Even in light of these new measures, Hong Kong politician and co-founder of Web3 accelerator platform G-Rocket, Johnny Ng, believes more can be done at the political level.

JPEX Scandal Takes Its Toll

Wading into the discourse, Ng acknowledged that existing political policies fall short when stamping out wrongdoing in crypto. To address this, Ng proposed setting up a Web3 and Virtual Assets Development Subcommittee to advise the government on best practices, including optimization measures and closing loopholes exploited by bad actors.

Ng criticized the SFC’s delayed warnings about JPEX, which failed to prevent significant investor losses. As losses continue to mount, it appears Ng’s critique seems warranted. As of September 23, JPEX complaints totaled 2,305, representing CN¥3.1 billion (US$424 million) in total losses. Four days prior, officials revealed that 1,641 complaints had been filed, already amounting to losses of US$152.2 million.

On the Flipside

  • Educating investors has limitations regarding how far it can protect consumers from crypto risks and bad actors. 
  • The JPEX scandal is just the latest example demonstrating that regulation plays catch up to technology and consistently fails to address new crypto developments and risks as they arise. 

Why This Matters

As more victims come forward, the JPEX scandal is embarrassing for political leaders who had previously praised Web3 and cryptocurrency. However, instead of bringing the hammer down against the whole industry, it is encouraging that the SFC has elected to take a measured approach to deal with the situation, placing the onus on consumer protection first and foremost.

Learn more about the chief executive of Hong Kong’s response to the JPEX saga here:
Hong Kong Slams Brakes on Crypto Following JPEX Scandal

Discover the changing dynamics of Bitcoin holders during the bear market here:
Small-Scale Bitcoin Holdings at ATHs, Vying Whales for Dominance

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.

Author
Samuel Wan

Samuel Wan is a finance professional turned crypto journalist, known for his insightful reporting on market trends, regulatory changes, and technological developments within the digital asset industry. His ability to simplify complex concepts and report the facts has made him a trusted source in the crypto community. Beyond his writing, Samuel is an active mountain biker and gamer.