The Hong Kong Police and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) are investigating Hounax, an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange, following the submission of 145 fraud reports. This situation arises after the apprehension of individuals associated with the JPEX cryptocurrency fraud. Hounax, a Hong Kong-based virtual asset trading platform, has been implicated in a rug pull scheme, with local reports citing losses of about HK$148 million from 145 victims. The SFC, under the leadership of CEO Julia Leung, has received 18 complaints about Hounax, involving sums ranging from HK$12,000 to HK$10 million. Leung emphasized that Hounax is not a licensed platform and has not sought licensing from the SFC, limiting the Commission’s ability to intervene directly.
The context of this investigation is broadened by the recent arrests in Taiwan of individuals linked to the JPEX scandal, which resulted in a loss of nearly $213 million. The ongoing JPEX investigation also involves prominent Taiwanese celebrities who served as brand ambassadors for the exchange. Following these incidents, Hong Kong regulators are expected to tighten cryptocurrency regulations further, especially in light of the recent allegations against Hounax.