Cryptocurrency exchange OKX has announced its plans to apply for virtual asset licenses to operate digital asset services in Hong Kong.

The Seychelles-based exchange has already set up an office in the city and is committed to investing in local talent while working with regulators over the next five years.

OKX intends to apply for the virtual asset service provider (VASP) license under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Ordinance 2022, which will take effect from June 1.

Additionally, the exchange will apply for “Type 1 and 7” licenses under the Securities and Futures Ordinance, which deal with securities dealing and automated trading services respectively.

Hong Kong has become a popular destination for foreign and mainland China companies looking to establish digital asset operations ahead of new crypto regulations set to take effect in June. Hong Kong’s government has also announced that it will be setting aside HK$50 million (US$6.37 million) to develop the sector.