While major cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the U.S. continue calling for regulatory clarity from the country's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Hong Kong, through its Securities Futures Commission (SFC), is planning to issue its crypto exchange license guidelines next month.

The guidelines, which are anticipated to provide support and a framework for cryptocurrency trading platforms planning to establish their trading services in China's Special Administrative Region, will release in May, SFC Chief Executive Officer Julia Leung said, according to Bloomberg.

Leung also disclosed that the consultation process on the licensing regime got more than 150 responses from various interested parties, the report said.

In February, the SFC announced its plans to ease the rules restricting retail investors from purchasing crypto assets from licensed platforms and invited the public to provide insights on its planned regulation for crypto exchange platforms.

CEX platforms licensed by Hong Kong SFC can allow individual investors to trade larger assets provided that safeguards like knowledge tests, risk profiles and reasonable exposure limits are in place, the country's consultation paper noted.

In March, Hong Kong's financial watchdog revealed its plan to release eight licenses by the end of 2023 and shared that it might face a backlog in virtual asset license applications since the country saw a surge after it announced its renewed efforts in the digital asset industry.

"Internal controls are very important and by putting it in policies and procedures that they actually follow. Security is key, and so is the walleting system. They're requiring digital asset firms to have their own walleting system in place. That has to be as a part of the whole process now instead of separating it unless you have a really good system in place," said former SFC head Angelina Kwan who broke the news about the number of CEX licenses releasing this year.

While Hong Kong's ambition of becoming the world's crypto hub is now backed by clear regulatory guidelines, the subject is a sore point among crypto exchange platforms operating in the U.S.

Just this week, Coinbase, a major CEX platform, filed a court action against the SEC to force the agency to respond to its almost nine-month-old request for cryptocurrency regulation clarity in the country.

"Coinbase has filed a narrow action in federal court to compel the SEC to do one simple thing: respond yes or no to Coinbase's pending rulemaking petition that asks the SEC to provide overdue guidance for the crypto industry," the platform's chief legal officer Paul Grewal said.

The ongoing crackdown in the crypto industry in the United States and the lack of regulatory clarity are frowned upon by the crypto community and businesses, with some mulling over conducting their operations offshore.

Screens showing advertisements of NFTs, are seen at Hong Kong Web3 Festival, in Hong Kong