Gate.HK, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong, has announced its closure following regulatory requirements imposed by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The exchange failed to obtain the necessary operational license mandated by the SFC, leading to the cessation of its services effective May 31.

Compliance Challenges Lead to Closure in Hong Kong

Source: Sfc - List Of Applicants Whose License Applications Have Been Returned, Refused Or Withdrawn. In Hong Kong
Source: SFC – List of applicants whose license applications have been returned, refused or withdrawn.

In response to the SFC’s licensing mandate, Gate.HK submitted its application for a license but later withdrew it on May 22, citing the need for a significant overhaul of its trading platform to meet regulatory standards. The exchange ceased all user acquisition and marketing activities on May 23 and restricted existing users to withdrawals only until August 28.

Gate.HK is set to permanently delist all tokens from its trading platform on May 28, including popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, Solana, Polygon, and Tether. The exchange plans to undergo a comprehensive restructuring to align with Hong Kong’s regulatory requirements, particularly regarding Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing measures.

Read more: Hong Kong Officials Recommend Self-Regulation for Crypto Industry

Prospects for Relaunch and Industry Impact

Gate.HK expressed its intention to relaunch its services in the future after obtaining the necessary licenses and implementing regulatory-compliant measures. However, the closure of Gate.HK adds to a series of exits by other crypto exchanges from the Hong Kong market, including OKX, Huobi HK, QuanXLab, and IBTCEX, all of which withdrew their license applications in May.

The departure of these exchanges underscores the challenges faced by cryptocurrency platforms in navigating regulatory frameworks in Hong Kong. Moreover, it highlights the growing importance of regulatory compliance in the cryptocurrency industry, as authorities worldwide seek to establish oversight and protect investors.


The closure of Gate.HK and other exchanges in Hong Kong reflects the evolving regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency businesses. As regulatory requirements become more stringent, exchanges must adapt to remain compliant and continue operating legally. While these developments may present short-term challenges for the industry, they also signify a maturation process that could ultimately foster greater trust and stability in the cryptocurrency market.