A cryptocurrency trading platform co-founded by Citigroup ex-operator Arthur Hayes has just hired the most expensive offices in the world, reported a newspaper from Hong Kong.
BitMEX rented the 45th floor of the Cheung Kong Center, reported the Hong Kong Economic Times Wednesday and quoted people who did not identify it.
The skyscraper houses the Goldman Sachs Group, Barclays, Bank of America, the securities regulator, Bloomberg and the realm of the billionaire Li Ka-shing.
Cryptocurrency companies are trying to join the traditional funding, despite a 65% decrease in bitcoin prices from their December high, raising doubts about the sustainability of the sector.
Spending large amounts of money on expensive offices can be a sign of how trading platforms such as BitMEX can thrive, even if volatile markets cause investor problems.
Hayes has not responded to e-mails that are looking for comments.
In January, when Bloomberg interviewed Hayes, BitMEX was in sparsely populated offices in a sector dominated by logistics and warehousing, opposite Victoria Harbor.
The rents in that building were 25 Hong Kong dollars (3.18 US dollars) per square foot, according to an announcement at a nearby real estate agency.
That is a record of 225 Hong Kong dollars (28.18 US dollars), almost 10 times more, per square foot for the Cheung Kong space that is mentioned in the economic Times of Hong Kong.
After being laid off at Citigroup, Hayes was inspired to co-found the company in 2014 after discovering that he could earn "easy money" by using the price differences of bitcoin in Hong Kong and China.
Today, BitMEX offers leveraged contracts that are bought and sold in the cryptocurrency.
According to the Hong Kong Economic Times, the company's expansion plans prompted the renting of a full floor of the Cheung Kong Center – some 20,000 square feet (1,858 square meters) – after BitMEX had initially considered only the half to lease from that.
Unlike bitcoin, the prices of Hong Kong properties have only been shifted in one direction.
According to the CBRE Group, the central district has the highest occupancy costs for offices in the world, which mentioned a survey in the first quarter.
It is the third year in a row that Hong Kong led the poll. The West End of London was in second place.