BitMEX eyes another half-floor in Hong Kong’s priciest office building

Seychelles-based crypto exchange BitMEX’s expansion plans are showing no sign of slowing, with the company gearing up to rent more space in Hong Kong’s most expensive office building, reports the South China Morning Post.

BitMEX doesn’t seem phased by the Feds. In fact, the long-serving crypto exchange wants to rent even more space in Hong Kong’s most expensive office building, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP)

Seychelles-headquartered crypto exchange BitMEX shattered records for renting Hong Kong’s priciest office space in 2018.

BitMEX maintains a $600,000-per-month lease on its swanky 20,000 square-foot digs, which take up the entire 45th floor of the prestigious Cheung Kong Center building (there’s 63 floors in total).

That lease runs out this year. So, SCMP’s sources say BitMEX is eyeing extra room — equivalent to another half floor.

Bloomberg previously reported BitMEX counted banking giants Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Barclays as neighbours, as well as the local securities regulator and billionaire Li Ka-shing.

According to an email to SCMP, BitMEX said it wants to expand beyond crypto derivatives like perpetual swaps to “spot, brokerage, custody, and other capabilities in certain markets in the future.”

File:HK 金鐘 Admiralty 金鐘道 Queensway February 2021 SS2 02 CKC Cheung Kong Center n Bank of China Tower.jpg
That’s BitMEX’s tower on the right (image courtesy of Shunagchairml MINAMO, shared under CC4)

BitMEX (founded in 2014) has been scooping up back-office staff to help with those expansion plans. So, the exchange (which also operates offices in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and Milwaukee) needs all the space it can get.

The move comes as Hong Kong’s government works to bring in new laws demanding digital asset exchanges hold licensed from the local Securities and Futures Commission.

Not to mention, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) last October charged BitMEX’s top four insiders with violating the Bank Secrecy Act (allegedly failing to enforce proper know-your-customer restrictions).

BitMEX wants to steady the ship

BitMEX and its parent 100x Group has a goal: replace co-founders Arthur Hayes (CEO), Greg Dwyer (Head of Business Development), Ben Delo — as well as “first employee” Samuel Reed (CTO).

All four insiders stepped down following the DoJ’s charges.

In response, the company installed Marc Robinson (ex-SBI) as Head of Custody and Alexander Höptner (veteran of Deutsche Börse, operator of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) as CEO.

[Read more: Arthur Hayes’ surrender starts countdown ’til court hears the coconut quote]

As of March 2021, BitMEX insiders Reed, Hayes, and Delo have been released on $5 million, $10 million, and $20 million bail and bond respectively.

Dwyer, described as an Australian “maths whiz,” continues to deny the charges while evading capture (last reported known residence Bermuda).

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