Huobi crypto exchange aims to expand to Hong Kong amid regulatory changes

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Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global is seeking a license in Hong Kong as China’s Special Administrative Region considers new licensing and regulatory moves to allow it to serve its retail customers.

A new framework requiring cryptocurrency exchanges to register with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will allow exchanges to extend their services to cities. Huobi is also planning Open A new exchange named Huobi Hong Kong is aimed at institutional investors and high net worth individuals, according to Justin Sun’s tweet thread.

The SFC recently launched a new Hong Kong licensing proposal for public comment, and the new regime is expected to come into effect in June. With news of the expected change, financial service providers lined up to join the newly expanded system in December.

Sun Said In an interview with Nikkei Asia, Huobi said it may increase its staff in Hong Kong from 50 to 200 this year. Sun said Hong Kong’s friendly stance on cryptocurrencies and the potential for retail sales were the motivations for the expansion.

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Huobi announced in January layoffs of 20% of its workforce, which it characterized as part of the company’s restructuring following its acquisition by Sun in October. The exchange announced in February that it would shut down Huobi Cloud Wallet in May due to “strategic and product adjustments.”

Huobi is also considering moving its headquarters from Singapore to Hong Kong, according to Nikkei Asia.

Huobi is also expanding its services in other regions. In January, Huobi announced the launch of a Visa-backed crypto-to-fiat debit card that Huobi customers residing in the European Economic Area can use worldwide. The card is expected to be available in the second quarter of this year.