Hong Kong landlords lease to crypto exchanges following regulatory clarity

Hong Kong landlords lease to crypto exchanges following regulatory clarity

Hongkong Land is a Hong Kong property landlord. In light of cryptocurrency regulations, HashKey Group has leased commercial office space to Hongkong Land.

Director of Hongkong Land Neil Anderson believes that the recent crypto regulations established by the Securities and Futures Commissions (SFC) heavily influenced the decision to lease commercial property for crypto businesses.

“The recent SFC decision to regulate digital assets exchanges in Hong Kong gives us confidence this new asset class has a regulatory structure and, therefore, a future within finance.”

Hong Kong regulators require that crypto businesses be licensed locally, and only offer their services to professional investors.

Local investors have had mixed reactions to Hong Kong’s recent regulatory decisions regarding cryptocurrency. Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and Treasury, has supported the recent proposal to ban retail cryptocurrency trading.

Hui stated that a regulatory framework that prohibits retail cryptocurrency activity would help to prevent “market manipulation, money laundering, and terrorist financing.”

Hongkong Land reports that HashKey Group rented an entire floor of the Three Exchange Square building in central Hong Kong. This building is owned partly by the Hong Kong government.

Related: Official says Hong Kong should restrict crypto trading to millionaires

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a decline in the demand for commercial space from traditional banks. HashKey, which is currently operating out of a business park for startups, will take up space previously leased to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.

Bloomberg reported that major fintech companies, such as Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas have reduced their office space. Jones Lang LaSalle data supports this claim, showing a 9.6% increase in vacancies in the central region compared to last year.

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