Update – 21st May: HKCex has been the subject of extensive complaints in recent weeks. CoinDesk is attempting to verify the matter.
A new Hong Kong bitcoin exchange has launched after raising $2m in funding from local investors.
The exchange, HKCex, said the funds came from “private financial institutions” in the region.
HKCex is led by chief executive and chairman Pheng Cheah. The company said it will allow mainland China customers to open accounts and will also accept wire transfers from mainland bank accounts.
“Mainland customers are welcome,” said Lavin Lam, a marketing and PR spokesperson for the exchange.
HKCex will also allow customers to use deposit and withdraw funds to credit cards using a PayPal gateway. This requires a signed authorisation form for transactions, Lam said.
The funds will be spent on building the exchange’s trading infrastructure (alongside a merchant platform and marketing costs). The firm said its goal is to be the world’s “most secure bitcoin trading platform”.
It will rely on two-factor authentication, AES-256 encryption, SSL connections and cold storage. CEO Cheah said in a press release announcing the funding round:
“It is no secret nowadays there are several large exchanges in the world, however all of them experience difficulties working with fiat currencies. Our exchange won’t have these shortcomings.”
HKCex enters the scene in the wake of increasing activity among Hong Kong exchanges. AsiaNexgen, for example, gave out $65,000 worth of bitcoin vouchers on the streets of the city to celebrate Chinese New Year in what it claimed was the biggest giveaway of the digital currency to date.
The city will reportedly get a bitcoin ATM this month as well. Exchanges on mainland China have been in flux lately as they grapple with regulators’ edicts restricting dealing in bitcoin by financial institutions.
Hong Kong image via Shutterstock