HashKey Group launches global crypto exchange in Bermuda

Asian digital asset services firm HashKey Group has gone live with its global cryptocurrency exchange, HashKey Global, following the acquisition of a license in Bermuda.

The launch places the firm in direct competition with major players like Coinbase, which rolled out its international derivatives exchange in Bermuda last year amid a deepening regulatory crackdown at home.

Livio Weng, COO of HashKey Group, outlined ambitious plans for the company, stating, “HashKey Group aims to establish one of the world’s largest clusters of licensed exchanges within the next 5 years, surpassing all current regulated exchanges.” The firm, which has recently achieved unicorn status following a successful fundraising round, is headquartered in Hong Kong with operations extending to Singapore and Tokyo.

Initially, HashKey Global will provide spot trading services for 21 digital assets, including major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), Tether’s USDT, and Circle’s USDC. The company also has plans to introduce futures trading products within weeks to meet diverse investor needs.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Ben El-Baz, Managing Director of Hashkey Global cited the favorable regulatory environment as a key factor for the firm’s strategic decision to operate out of Bermuda.

El-Baz also mentioned the gap in the market for an exchange that combines the user and product experience of Binance with the regulatory and safety backend of Coinbase. “Our goal long-term within the next five years is we want to be the largest globally compliant exchange in the world,” he stated.

Despite not serving markets in Hong Kong, China, the United States, and others, HashKey Global caters to a wide audience with a suite of services. Over the next six months, the exchange plans to introduce spot and futures trading, staking services, a project launchpad, and ensure deep market liquidity from day one.

While El-Baz was reserved about the exact financials involved in launching HashKey Global, he assured that the exchange is “adequately capitalized” and highlighted Bermuda’s strict capitalization requirements for licensed institutions.

HashKey Capital received approval from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong to operate a virtual asset trading platform, enabling it to provide crypto trading services to both institutional and retail investors.

Apart from being one of the first licensed exchanges to offer retail crypto trading in Hong Kong, HashKey has also introduced its crypto over-the-counter (OTC) trading service, known as HashKey Brokerage. The OTC platform has been developed in accordance with local securities regulations, aligning with the newly implemented cryptocurrency regulatory framework set forth by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).