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HashKey’s $100M Fuels Crypto Renaissance; Unicorn Title Seals Success

Last Updated January 16, 2024 11:50 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated January 16, 2024 11:50 AM

Key Takeaways

  • HashKey Group secures $100 million funding, becoming a unicorn.
  • Hong Kong’s regulatory framework for virtual assets attracts investors.
  • The groups exchange has more than 155,000 registered users.

HashKey Group, one of the two licensed cryptocurrency exchange operators in Hong Kong, recently announced  a milestone.

The company has successfully raised nearly $100 million in a funding round, catapulting its valuation to more than $1 billion. This earns it the status of a ‘unicorn’ – a term used for startups valued at over a billion dollars.

HashKey Group Raises $100M, Aims to Become Hub for Digital Assets

The firm told CCN.com both existing and new investors contributed funding. However,  it chose not to disclose its backers’ identities. The money is earmarked for a web3 ecosystem and the creation of licensed products in Hong Kong. According to HashKey, its current valuation stands at more than $1.2 billion.

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that OKX Ventures , the investment arm of the OKX exchange, was one of the lead investors in this funding round. However, this information hasn’t been officially confirmed. Neither representatives from OKX nor from HashKey have commented on the matter.

HashKey Group’s operations span various domains including a trading platform, venture funding, and asset management. Its activities centered in Hong Kong and Singapore. The company is among several crypto businesses aiming to use Hong Kong’s initiatives to establish itself as a hub for digital assets. Earlier reports indicated HashKey was seeking to raise between $100 million and $200 million . They suggested HashKey was aiming to be worth $1 billion.

Renewed Optimism in Crypto Venture Capital Amid Market Rebound

The landscape of crypto startup funding experienced a significant downturn in 2022 . However, the past 12 months have witnessed a revival in token prices. This has, in part, been fueled by optimism surrounding the launch of the first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States.

Venture funding sinking
Credit: PitchBook

In June, Hong Kong introduced a specialized regulatory framework for virtual assets. This new set of rules is designed to attract cryptocurrency companies while also ensuring the protection of investors.

One of the key features of this framework is allowing retail investors to trade major cryptocurrencies through licensed exchanges. Currently, BC Technology Group Ltd.’s OSL and HashKey Exchange are the only two platforms with crypto trading permits in Hong Kong.

Looking ahead, the city is considering the introduction of spot crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) . Additionally, regulations for stablecoins — cryptocurrencies designed to maintain a stable value — are expected to be unveiled in the coming months.

Evaluating Hong Kong’s Future in the Cryptocurrency Sector

Hong Kong, recognized as a gateway to Chinese wealth and a significant local market, faces uncertainty regarding its capacity to support a growing number of crypto exchanges . There are concerns about whether city officials will continue prioritizing the cryptocurrency sector, especially given its history of scandals, which compound investors worries.

Since HashKey Exchange launched its trading services for retail investors in late August 2024, it has amassed more than 155,000 registered users. According to CoinMarketCap, as of Tuesday morning in Singapore, HashKey Exchange’s spot trading volume  was estimated at around $12 million over the previous 24 hours. In contrast, Binance, the world’s largest crypto platform, recorded a trading volume of $13 billion in the same period.

HashKey’s origins trace back to 2018 when it began as an early investor in Ethereum, which has since become a fundamental digital ledger. Xiao Feng, Chairman of HashKey, ventured into blockchain investment during his tenure at the Chinese conglomerate Wanxiang Group, known for its diverse business interests ranging from automobiles to energy.

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