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Crypto trading firm rents world's priciest offices

Hong Kong

A CRYPTOCURRENCY trading platform co-founded by former Citigroup Inc trader Arthur Hayes just rented the world's most expensive offices, a Hong Kong newspaper reported.

BitMEX leased the 45th floor of the Cheung Kong Center, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported on Wednesday, citing people it didn't identify. The skyscraper is home to Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Barclays Plc, Bank of America Corp, the securities regulator, Bloomberg LP and billionaire Li Ka-shing's empire.

Cryptocurrency firms are trying to vault from the fringes of finance to the mainstream despite a 65 per cent slump in bitcoin prices from December's peak raising questions about the industry's sustainability. Splashing out on expensive offices may be a sign of how trading venues like BitMEX can prosper even when volatile markets cause investors pain.

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Mr Hayes didn't respond to e-mails seeking comment.

Back in January, when Bloomberg interviewed him, BitMEX was in sparsely-decorated offices in a logistics and warehouse district on the other side of Victoria Harbour. Rents in the building were HK$25 (S$4.35) per square foot, according to an advertisement in a nearby real estate agency. That compares with a record HK$225 per sq ft for the Cheung Kong space of about 20,000 sq ft cited by the Hong Kong Economic Times. BLOOMBERG