HashKey Group and SEBA Bank Form Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Institutional Adoption of Digital Assets in Hong Kong and Switzerland


HashKey Digital Asset Group (“HashKey” or “The Group“) and SEBA Bank AG (“SEBA Bank“) have today announced a new strategic partnership that will see both financial services groups leverage their digital asset service offerings as well as custody and asset management products to accelerate the institutional adoption of digital assets in Hong Kong and in Switzerland.

The strategic partnership, formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), will see HashKey become SEBA Bank’s preferred digital asset trading and market development partner in Hong Kong, while SEBA Bank will be the banking partner of choice for HashKey in Switzerland. Together, HashKey and SEBA Bank will endeavour to bring to market reliable and differentiated solutions and avenues for institutional and professional investors who are seeking to take exposure in the digital asset ecosystem. The two groups are also committed to complying with and embracing the regulatory frameworks of their respective jurisdictions with the highest standards of complianceKnow-Your-Customer and Anti-Money Laundering policies and measures.

SEBA Bank is a leading crypto bank in Switzerland having a suite of fully regulated banking and investment services including trading, structured products, bank accounts, credit, custody and staking. By partnering with HashKey, SEBA Bank will strengthen its offering to its institutional clients and partners and solidify its position as a global crypto banking leader, complementing its existing licenses and branches in Switzerland and Abu Dhabi.

HashKey Group, through its subsidiary Hash Blockchain Limited (“HBL“), was recently granted approval from the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) of Hong Kong to operate a virtual asset trading platform, becoming only the second company in Hong Kong licensed to provide regulated automated trading services for professional investors in respect of virtual assets. In accordance with the regulatory framework set out by the SFC, HashKey’s virtual asset trading platform, named HashKey PRO, is built to ensure the highest level of client asset protection, in which client assets are segregated and held in custody by HashKey Custody Services Limited, a holder of a Trust or Company Service Provider licence in Hong Kong.

Franz Bergmueller, Group CEO of SEBA Bank, commented, “With a supportive regulatory framework, Hong Kong is a leading jurisdiction globally in the licensing provision of crypto products and services. It is important that the SEBA group becomes part of this ecosystem as a trusted, secure and transparent counterparty in this regulated crypto environment. We’re proud to partner with Hashkey to establish and strengthen our presence in this critical market. As a leading provider of digital asset financial services in the Asian markets, HashKey will play an important role in expanding our presence and network in the region.”

Michel Lee, Executive President at HashKey Group, said, “Since our inception, HashKey has always prioritised the importance of protecting our clients’ funds and assets under a regulatory-first approach. We are excited to form this strategic partnership with SEBA Bank, a pioneer in the global digital investment market and one of the most innovative financial institutions in the world, who also shares the same ethos and core principles with us on regulatory compliance. Merging HashKey’s ecosystem of digital asset services along with SEBA Bank’s cutting-edge digital banking and finance infrastructure will allow us to offer to our clients the most secure and seamless gateway into the new digital economy.”


Tokyo Hash Completes Registration as Crypto Asset Exchange Service Provider in Japan


Tokyo Hash Co.,Ltd, a leading crypto asset service provider in Japan, announced that it has completed its registration as a crypto asset exchange service provider based on the Payment Services Act on 18 June 2021. This is the first step for the company as it begins to expand its offerings in the market including its digital asset exchange services.

The news is also a milestone for Tokyo Hash’s parent company, HashKey Group, a leading end-to-end digital asset finance house serving professional and institutional investors. Headquartered in Hong Kong, HashKey has offices in SingaporeTokyo, and Shanghai. The core business lines of HashKey are a regulated digital asset, exchange, brokerage, custody, and a venture capital fund invested in blockchain companies around the world.

“This is a significant milestone for Tokyo Hash and HashKey Group,” said Michel Lee, Executive President of HashKey Group. “This expands the offering of our digital asset financial services in Japan. We look forward to introducing new services and products for digital asset investors in Japan.”

Since its establishment in 2018, Tokyo Hash has been working to ensure that its customers can use its services safely in compliance with regulatory requirements related to the crypto asset exchange business, including the Payment Services Act, and related laws, regulations, guidelines, and the orders issued by the Financial Services Agency and the Cabinet Office, as well as rules set forth by Japan Virtual and Crypto Asset Exchange Association.

Andy Dan, representative director of Tokyo Hash, said, “Harnessing HashKey Group’s expertise and partnerships, we will continue to explore blockchain-based finance technology in Japan and contribute to the development of the global crypto asset industry. We look forward to launching our service in the near term.”


2021 a Tipping Point for Institutional Investors and Digital Assets


HashKey Group, a leader in digital asset management and blockchain solutions, predicts that more than 50% of institutional and professional investors will have exposure to digital assets in their portfolios by year end. This would mark 2021 as a tipping point where investors go from evaluating the opportunity to acting. Large-scale government spending worldwide in the pandemic to support economic recovery and the evolving global regulatory framework are the primary reasons cited by investors diversifying into this growing asset class.

HashKey Group recently published its report entitled “Institutional Investor and Digital Assets. First Mover Advantage: What Early Adopters Have Learned” which shares insights from in-depth interviews conducted with institutional investment leaders from around the world.

According to the report, institutional investors expressed fear that they may miss out on potentially exponential growth if they do not adopt digital assets now. They cited the long-term investment opportunities that exist in many forms of asset tokenization, ranging from virtual currencies to infrastructure such as platforms and applications — and growth – as among the reasons to consider the asset class. The total market capitalization of digital assets is just US$260 billion, relatively small compared to other traditional assets[i].

However, globally the digital asset market has tremendous growth potential, and is expected to grow from US$3.4 billion in 2020 to US$6.0 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 12.0%[ii]. In the HashKey Group report, some first mover investors highlighted the value of investing early to gain knowledge and experience to prepare for the wave.

Michel Lee, Executive President of HashKey Group said, “As an indication of the interest institutional investors have in this asset class, the inflow of institutional funds has contributed to the fluctuation of the prices of some virtual currencies in recent months.”

Lee said, “However, the digital asset class spans much more than just virtual currencies. There are tokenized equities and tokenized bonds and digital economy tokens. Institutional investors are also interested in these subcategories. Our report identifies corporate risk aversion, evolving regulatory frameworks, and perceived lack of supporting infrastructure as factors they consider carefully before adding exposure to digital assets to their portfolios.”

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong announced in November 2020 that it will regulate all digital asset exchanges and trading to prevent market manipulation and money-laundering activities.

Angelina Kwan, Chief Operating Officer of HashKey Group said, “Many institutional investors are themselves regulated and have a fiduciary duty to fulfill. The new SFC regulations will enable more transparency, since only licensed operators can offer regulated virtual assets services and only professional investors can participate. As infrastructure is developed and regulation increases, institutional investors will become more confident about digital asset investment.”

Kwan adds, “In addition to digital currency, custody, trading platforms and security solutions are other digital asset investment opportunities that are more familiar to institutional investors. The development of the digital asset infrastructure in many ways mirrors the way traditional financial services infrastructure grew and matured. That trend makes institutional investors more comfortable as they consider digital asset investment opportunities.”

The Greater Bay Area (GBA) integration is another strategic initiative that could help to accelerate the adoption of digital assets by institutional investors. Hong Kong, as an international financial hub, plays a critical role in facilitating global trading, and is stimulated by innovative Chinese technology and payment solutions. For example, China selected Hong Kong to launch the test for its digital yuan (digital version of China’s fiat currency), because it is the “most open and international city” in the GBA[iii]. An enhanced regulatory framework now being put in place here in Hong Kong will help nurture the digital assets ecosystem in the region.

Michel Lee said, “2021 is a strategic time for institutional investors to consider adding exposure to digital assets in their portfolios. Concern about the long-term future is redoubling investor interest in uncorrelated, more diversified asset classes. Once regulations are established and clarified, institutional investors can leverage Hong Kong as a strategic hub to capture the opportunities. To maximize their potential, they should work with professional partners with proven expertise and track records.”


HashKey Group Winner at HKMA ‘Digitizing Trade Finance’ Tech Challenge


HashKey Group was announced yesterday as one of the winners of the “Digitizing Trade Finance Tech Challenge” hosted by Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). HashKey was awarded as one of the ten prize winners in a competition that attracted 103 applications from 24 cities in 16 countries. HashKey Group entered and won the competition with the support of sister company Wanxiang Blockchain.

Announced at Hong Kong Fintech Week 2020, HashKey’s solution will create a toolkit that improves the usability of blockchain-based open data standards for documents and data in cross-border trade finance. With the solution, HashKey Group and its sister company Wanxiang Blockchain will collaborate with local regulators, universities, government agencies, and SMEs in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

“This year we are witnessing a rapid acceleration in the growth of digital commerce,” said Michel Lee, HashKey Group Executive President. “As this trend continues, we are very excited by the potential of blockchain solutions to deliver the common data standards needed to bridge digital islands and allow for seamless digital trade.”

The project marks the second time the two companies received government recognition for its trade finance blockchain solutions. The project is an extension of current work with the Singapore government on blockchain-based digital trade facilitation.

“Through our work on open data standards, HashKey has developed a unique perspective on how to improve blockchain-based digital trade and make it more practical for more industry participants,” said Ben El-Baz, Head of Ecosystems at HashKey Group. “Together HashKey and Wanxiang Blockchain continue to collaborate on blockchain solutions for finance. With this project we are excited to expand the use of blockchain to solve challenges in trade finance.”

HashKey Group and Wanxiang Blockchain are building blockchain-based supply chain finance solutions. Earlier in 2020, HashKey also won a blockchain-based trade data project awarded by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore. The core of that project is integrating IMDA’s open, interoperability-focused TradeTrust blockchain document notarization framework into the team’s trade and supply chain finance platforms.