In Hong Kong, crypto firms must have a local licence and can only provide services to professional investors.
Following the clarification of cryptocurrency legislation, Hongkong Land, a property landlord in Hong Kong, has leased commercial office space to HashKey Group, a local crypto-asset startup.
The decision to lease commercial property to crypto enterprises, according to Neil Anderson, director of Hongkong Land, was largely influenced by the Securities and Futures Commission’s (SFC) recent crypto regulations:
“The SFC’s recent decision to regulate digital asset exchanges in Hong Kong gives us confidence that this new asset class has a regulatory framework, and therefore a future within the finance industry.”
Crypto firms must be licenced in Hong Kong and only offer their services to professional investors, according to Hong Kong regulators.
Hong Kong’s bitcoin legislative choices have elicited conflicting reactions from local investors. Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Christopher Hui, has defended a recent plan to restrict retail crypto trading.
A regulatory framework that prohibits retail crypto activity, according to Hui, aids in the prevention of “market manipulation, money laundering, and terrorist financing.”
HashKey Group has rented a complete floor at the Three Exchange Square building in central Hong Kong, which is partly owned by the Hong Kong government, according to Hongkong Land.
Traditional banks, on the other hand, are seeing a drop in demand for commercial premises, because to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HashKey, which is now based in a startup-friendly business park, will be moving into space previously occupied by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.
Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas, among other mainstream fintech heavyweights, have cut their office space, according to Bloomberg.
This is corroborated by Jones Lang LaSalle statistics, which shows a 9.6% vacancy rate in the central region, nearly doubling from last year.