BitMEX, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin mercantile exchanges, recently announced that they have signed a lease to rent one of the world’s most expensive office spaces at the Cheung Kong Center in Hong Kong.
The leveraged Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading platform, founded in 2014 by former Citigroup Inc. trader Arthur Hayes, will be occupying the 45th floor of the Cheung Kong Center, according to local news publication, the Hong Kong Economic Times. This is a significant upgrade from BitMEX’s old offices, which was located at a logistics and warehouse district on the other side of Victoria Harbor.
According to Bloomberg, rent in the old building was HK$25 (US$3.18) per square foot per month, while the rent in the new building is nearly ten times that – at HK$225 (US$28.66) ( per square foot per month. Since the average floor size of the Cheung Kong center is between 20,000 – 22,000 square feet, this means that BitMEX will be paying up to HK$4,950,000, or US$630,581 per month in rent.
The Cheung Kong Center
The world-renowned Cheung Kong Center the headquarters of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited (CKH), and is owned and managed by its 49%-owned associated company Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), while other tenants include several multinational banking firms and conglomerates, including but not limited to:
Allianz, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, BlackRock, Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, McKinsey & Co., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Royal Bank of Canada, RBS, Och-Ziff Capital Management, and the Securities and Futures Commission.
Out of the many tenants, Goldman Sachs (Asia) is reported to have signed a 12-year lease on eight-and-a-half office floors, becoming the leading tenant. The top floor of the skyscraper is home to Chairman of CKH and HWL, Li Ka Shing, as his office. It also contains a private swimming pool and garden.
Hong Kong – Home to the World’s Priciest Properties
Unlike Bitcoin, the property prices in Hong Kong have been going in no other direction other than the “moon”. According to a survey by CBRE Group Inc., the Central district of Hong Kong wins the title for the world’s most expensive office occupancy costs for the third year in a row. At a mind-boggling $307 per square foot, Hong Kong’s office occupancy costs are 30 percent higher than that of London West End’s, which takes the number 2 spot.
Despite the drastic increase of Hong Kong’s rent price in the recent years, many crypto and blockchain investors are flocking to the tiny island just off the shores of mainland China to set up offices – thanks to the relatively lenient regulation by the Hong Kong government over cryptocurrencies. Block.One, the company behind the 5th largest cryptocurrency, EOS, recently signed a lease to rent 16,600 square feet worth of office space in Hong Kong’s Central Plaza.
This also proves that despite the relatively poor performance of the cryptocurrency market in 2018, crypto exchanges all around the world are still making huge returns. Following the infamous “Bitcoin crash” back in December 2017, the cryptocurrency market has shed over 73% of its value from its all-time high of $830 billion. At the moment, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies stands at $216 billion, having just dipped below $200 billion just 9 days ago.
Amidst all the chaos in the cryptocurrency market, speculators are positing that Bitcoin and other altcoins will make gains similar to that of the 2017 bull run in the long term. Nevertheless, we can only be certain about one thing – that past performance does not guarantee future returns. Therefore, the only logical move in today’s bear market would be to never invest more than you can afford to lose.
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