Popular blockchain gaming software Animoca Brands has announced that it is investing $30 million in Hi, a crypto exchange startup headquartered in Hong Kong. The announcement is particularly groundbreaking, given that around the world, funding for cryptocurrency platforms is increasingly becoming rare due to economic uncertainty and growing regulatory challenges.
A Partnership That Works
The application created by Hi combines the functionalities of mobile banking and cryptocurrency exchanges. The platform allows participants to trade their cryptocurrencies and also utilize debit cards provided by Mastercard to make purchases using Bitcoin. The vast majority of users will be issued virtual cards, while those living in specific European countries will be offered an option to access a physical card.
Animoca Brands has come a long way as one of the most innovative investors in crypto, especially in the Web3 ecosystem. According to Animoca’s Chief Executive Officer Siu, Hi’s goal for its NFT debit is in perfect alignment with his company’s view of the evolving relationship between Web3 and culture.
Hi’s Mastercard debit card allows holders to customize their physical cards by including an NFT of choice. Users can also make payments using either cryptocurrency or fiat debit cards. The partnership will also enable Hi’s users to transfer and receive tokens within the Animoca ecosystem. This is inclusive of popular tokens such as Apecoin and The Sandbox’s SAND, further boosting the accessibility and functionality of the platform.
Hi was founded in 2021 by a group of creators, one of which was Sean Rach, a former CMO at Crypto.com. And the investment from Animoca Brands represents part of an essential partnership between both companies, the exchange said.
HI token sitting at $0.003 following Animoca funding | Source: HIUSDT on Tradingview.com
Navigating The Tedious Hong Kong Regulatory Space
Since the start of the month, cryptocurrency exchanges desirous of offering their services to residents of Hong Kong are mandated to file for a license with the city’s Securities and Futures Commission.
Exchanges that had a significant presence in the Hong Kong market were offered a one-year window to comply with the new laws or vacate the market. Should they fail to comply, the city will forcefully shut them down.
Hi has since announced that it has completed the necessary pre-registration exercises needed to obtain a license as a virtual asset trading platform. The exercises were conducted under the thorough supervision of the SFC.
According to the company, it currently enjoys the patronage of over 3.5 million users, out of which 1 million have successfully undertaken the “know your customer” verifications.
This latest investment round from Animoca comes amid rising concerns among investors, as the US ramps up its regulatory efforts in the crypto space.
Featured image from Vecteezy, chart from Tradingview.com