Hong Kong-based digital asset firm HashKey Group aims to raise funds at a valuation of more than $1 billion.
The company is in early-stage talks to raise $100 million to $200 million from potential investors, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The deal is reportedly in progress but details regarding the size and valuation may change as they are not yet finalized.
Hashkey operates in various financial areas, including HashKey Capital, HashKey Custody, brokerage HashKey XPert, HashKey Pro exchange, and Web3 infrastructure HashQuark.
The company is among a growing number of Hong Kong-based digital asset firms looking to expand their customer base in an increasingly liberalizing environment.
Last year, HashKey announced that it had been granted a “Type 9 asset management license” by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, allowing it to manage portfolios that only contain virtual assets and likely paved the way for its latest offering.
And earlier this year, the company closed a $500 million investment round for a fund that will invest in infrastructure, toolings, and applications that will help push the mass adoption of blockchain and crypto technologies.
At present, only Hashkey and BC Technology Group’s OSL bourse have permits to operate a crypto exchange in the city-state.
However, leaders from other exchanges, including OKX and Bitget, have expressed their intention to apply for a license under Hong Kong’s new regulatory regime.
Hong Kong’s New Regulatory Framework to Come Into Effect Next Month
Hong Kong has been aggressively pursuing its Web3 and blockchain push in a bid to position itself as a hub for digital innovation in Asia and attract crypto firms.
The city has recently adopted a new regulatory regime, which would allow retail investors to trade specific “large-cap tokens” on licensed exchanges. The new regulatory framework will come into effect starting next month.
It is worth noting that Hong Kong’s effort to attract crypto firms has already paid out.
The city’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Christian Hui, said last month that more than 80 companies working in the digital asset space had shown interest in establishing a presence in the city since October 2022.
The improving regulatory stance in the city has also led to a growing investor appetite for digital assets.
Back in March, Hong Kong investors launched a new $100 million fund, ProDigital Future, to support early-stage crypto and Web3 companies.
The Chinese government’s support for Hong Kong’s vision is evident in their outreach to crypto businesses this year, despite their ban on most forms of crypto-activity on the mainland.
As reported, a number of Chinese state-owned banks in Hong Kong have started offering services to crypto companies, which include the Bank of Communications, Bank of China, and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.