Hong Kong bitcoin exchange guide: Getting BTC with your HKD

Crypto
August 1, 2019

With the number of Bitcoin exchanges in Hong Kong, buying Bitcoin here has never been a difficult thing to do. However, finding out which Bitcoin exchanges accept which deposit and withdrawal methods can be very time-consuming. If you want to buy BTC with HKD cash, that becomes a bit harder and cashing out Bitcoin is a whole different ball game.  

To help you on your way, here’s a guide to Hong Kong Bitcoin exchanges as it stands today, giving you the easiest way to buy and sell between BTC and HKD.

List of Hong Kong Exchanges

Abra

Abra is a crypto wallet and exchange app. In Hong Kong, the only way to deposit money to your crypto wallet is by using a credit card which comes with a 4% fee. At the moment, there seem to be no options for withdrawing HKD in cash or to a bank account, so the only way to cash out Bitcoin from Abra would be to transfer BTC to an account with another exchange or cash out service. 

ANXPro

One of the older exchanges on this list, ANXPro has been in Hong Kong for a few years now. They were one of the first in Hong Kong to offer debit cards directly connected to BTC wallets.

However, the state of this exchange has become less stable since deposits of HKD cash and crypto are currently unavailable. Cashing out crypto to a bank account is still available for now and incurs a 1% fee plus a flat HKD250 charge.

Bitspark

Bitspark was one of the first crypto companies set up in Hong Kong in 2014 and operates an all-in-one wallet and exchange mobile app, with a physical cash points network for deposits and withdrawals. There is a 1.5% charge for both cash in deposits and cash out withdrawals.

Popular cryptocurrencies and stablecoins available from the mobile app include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zeph and stablecoins for USD, HKD, PHP, AUD, SGD and many more. Additionally, users can earn reward token ZEPH through referrals, which can be traded against other cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. On this list, it has the most expansive selection of local currency stablecoins going far beyond USD coins alone, which makes the service both accessible and practical considering what stablecoins can be used for in certain markets.

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BTC ATMs

Throughout Hong Kong, there are many BTC ATMs with most of them located in Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and Wan Chai. The way the machine works depends on the model, and the fees charged depends on the service provider. Generally, BTC ATMs take HKD500 and HKD100 notes, and do not require KYC verification steps under 10K deposits.

The fees are built into the exchange rate, with an average of around 7% - and some service providers also charge a flat fee in addition to the exchange rate fee.

Localbitcoins

One of the first and most successful peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange networks, Localbitcoins has been around for a long time now and has a global network of Bitcoin buyers and sellers exchanging among themselves. Cash-based Bitcoin transactions were the biggest draw until the company banned all cash trades as a consequence of changing regulations in Finland, the home base of Localbitcoins.

If you want to buy or sell Bitcoin in Hong Kong through Localbitcoins, it can only be done through bank transfers with an average rate of around 8%, worked into the exchange rates.

OSL

OSL is an OTC trading platform that serves the Hong Kong market, but has more of an institutional focus. Deposits via bank transfers are free of charge, but are only accepted above the HKD400,000 minimum amount. Withdrawing Bitcoin to your bank account seems to have no minimum limit.

Paxful

There seem to be an infinite number of ways to buy and sell Bitcoin through Paxful, but finding out how some of them work exactly can be time-consuming. There are gift cards, Paypal, Alipay, WeChat Pay and many other options available, but it’s not clear what the costs, fees and exchange rates are. Cash deposits and withdrawals are available too, but again there isn’t enough information on fees.

Bank transfers, however, seem to be charged an average of 5%.

Tidebit

Founded in 2017, Tidebit is a Hong Kong exchange that focuses primarily on Bitcoin and Ethereum. The service is aimed at the English and Chinese markets in Asia. Bank transfers for deposits and withdrawals are charged at 2% with a flat HKD100 fee.

Who is not on the list of Hong Kong Bitcoin exchanges

To limit our focus to the HKD/BTC market, we have only included exchanges that accept deposits and withdrawals in Hong Kong Dollars. There are more options for buying BTC from Hong Kong, such as buying Bitcoin using a credit card on Binance, but the transactions are made in USD or EUR and therefore we have not included those crypto exchanges in this list.

Additionally, the list excludes some Bitcoin exchanges you may find on other outdated lists. That’s because some of the Hong Kong Bitcoin exchanges that performed well in the past have since had to close down. While the specific reasons vary for each case, it usually comes down to a combination of banks wary of dealing in Bitcoin or regulatory changes in the home base of the company that affect the services a business can offer overseas. 

As an example, Gatecoin was a Bitcoin exchange purpose-built for the Hong Kong market where customers could buy BTC, ETH, LTC and a few other altcoins using bank transfers. The trouble started in 2016 with an exchange hack where Gatecoin lost $2 million, which was shortly followed by more bad news in 2017 when their bank refused to process customer transactions to deposit and withdraw Bitcoin in Hong Kong Dollars. Gatecoin was not able to recover from the financial and reputational damages and closed its shop in March 2019.

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