BitMEX co-founder and CEO Arthur Hayes recently stated he believes Bitcoin’s price will reach $50,000 by the end of 2018. Hayes’ bullish statement came during an interview with CNBC where he explained that his company works mostly with retail traders.

Notably, the former Citigroup and Deutsche Bank equity trader revealed he chose to base BitMEX’s operations in Hong Kong because he thinks that Asians are more comfortable trading digital assets. He also believes cryptocurrency trading is a more “established” business in North Asia. He noted:

“Asia dominates cryptos because they’re very used to trading digital assets. South Korea has been trading digital goods related to gaming for two decades. When you move to a purely money based digital currency they understand that culturally, so they get on board quickly.”

Arthur Hayes

The Wharton School of Business graduate added that BitMEX aims to serve crypto retail investors throughout the world by making his company’s products easily accessible to them. Hayes pointed out that his cryptocurrency exchange focuses primarily on Bitcoin-related trades and offers “highly leveraged” derivatives.

BitMex lets traders leverage their trades up to 100x in various products, and also offers 25x leveraged Monero contracts. Additionally, it offers futures contracts for Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ripple.

Institutional Investors Not Yet Into Crypto

While discussing his company’s future plans, Hayes mentioned that currently there isn’t “much institutional presence in crypto.” Were this to change, he noted that his trading platform is already prepared to serve institutional investors. Presumably, software upgrades that incorporate new crypto trading options, along with other measures that Hayes’ company is taking, should help accommodate institutional traders when they enter the crypto space.

The tech-savvy trader noted that BitMEX takes security and consumer safety very seriously. He revealed the company holds “a large amount of Bitcoin” and has certain “processes” in place and a “certain way” of doing things that ensure users’ funds remain safe

Despite implementing robust security features on BitMEX, Hayes admits that “you still have to take that risk”. The risk can be in the form of choosing to invest in a highly volatile asset class or simply using online exchanges, which are still vulnerable to hackers.