Hong Kong Exchange Gatecoin To Delist Tokens With Security Properties [UPDATED]

UPDATED | October 10, 2017:

Gatecoin has responded to an ETHNews inquiry: head of marketing Thomas Glucksmann explains that if a token qualifies as a security but is also SFC-compliant, Gatecoin will require the issuing firm to prove its compliance by providing Gatecoin with certain licenses. The exchange would delist the token until its compliance is verified.

Additionally, if clients holding non-compliant tokens fail to withdraw them by the end of the allotted month, Gatecoin will convert those tokens into Ether or bitcoin on the clients’ behalf.

ORIGINAL | October 09, 2017:

Gatecoin, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange, has announced on its site that it plans to delist all tokens that double as securities. The October 4 post opens by referring to a previous statement from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), which warned that companies trading in or minting cryptocurrency must comply with the SFC’s securities regulations if such tokens represent shares, equity, or ownership rights in the issuing firm.

The exchange, which recently boasted a 24-hour trading volume of just over $14 million and which the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong describes as one of four cryptocurrency exchanges holding a Hong Kong bank account, reported that it has been cooperating with legal advisors to formulate a plan of action ever since the SFC issued its ordinance.

These advisors are working to determine which of the tokens currently listed on the exchange feature security-like characteristics and whether the issuing firms have taken the steps necessary to achieve SFC compliance. 

Once Gatecoin has determined which tokens it intends to delist, it will give clients a week to exchange their holdings in those currencies for bitcoin or Ether. After that week, the platform will no longer allow users to trade or deposit the offending tokens. However, the tokens-cum-securities that users continue to hold onto after the trading deadline will remain in Gatecoin’s wallets, where their owners will have a month to withdraw them.