Hongkong Land, a real estate owner in Hong Kong, has leased commercial office space from a local crypto-asset firm named HashKey Group following clarification of cryptocurrency regulations.
Neil Anderson, Director of Hong Kong Land, believes that the decision to lease commercial assets to crypto companies was heavily dependent on recent crypto regulations established by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC):
“The recent decision by the SFC to regulate the trading of digital assets in Hong Kong gives us assurance that this new asset class has a regulatory framework, and therefore a future within the financial industry. . “
Hong Kong regulators require crypto firms to be licensed locally and only offer their services to professional investors.
Hong Kong’s regulatory decisions regarding the cryptocurrency have sparked mixed feelings among local investors. However, Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s secretary of financial services and treasury, defended the recent proposal to ban crypto retailing.
Hui said that a regulatory framework that bans retail crypto activities helps fight “market manipulation, money laundering and terrorist financing.”
According to Hong Kong Land, HashKey Group has rented an entire floor in the Three Exchange Square building in central Hong Kong, which is partly owned by the Hong Kong government.
Related: Restricting crypto trading to millionaires is good for Hong Kong, official says
On the other hand, demand for commercial spaces from traditional banks is declining, mainly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. HashKey, which currently operates from a business park dedicated to startups, will occupy space previously leased by the Australian and New Zealand banking group.
Bloomberg reported that traditional fintech giants, including Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas, have reduced their office space. This is corroborated by data from Jones Lang LaSalle, which shows a vacancy rate of 9.6% in the central region, which has almost doubled from last year.