Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi has announced a plan to set up shop in London as it seeks to continue its expansion outside of Asia.
Chern Chung, Huobi’s senior business development manager for Europe, told CryptoBriefing that Huobi “wants to have a presence” in the city because “our statistics show that London is the most active trading scene across all of Europe.”
London is only the latest in a series of locations that Huobi has designated for new offices. The company launched operations in South Korea earlier this year and is in the process of opening operations in San Francisco.
‘We Are Not Afraid of Regulation’
The move could also indicate that Huobi intends to fall in line with the most up-to-date global regulations on cryptocurrency. Many competing firms are choosing to build bases in European states (i.e. Gibraltar) with rather lax legislation on crypto. The UK’s regulatory climate has slowly (but surely) been heating up when it comes to crypto.
“Not Malta, not Switzerland. Absolutely London, more precisely Britain, is the entry point for the European market for us,” said Peng Hu, Vice President of the Huobi Group. Chung added that “shows Huobi’s commitment and determination to go mainstream,” and that “we are not afraid of regulation nor are we escaping regulation.”
“We envision the UK becoming a hotbed for cryptocurrency innovation, especially with the UK Finance Minister declaring his commitment to foster the growth of this sector. The establishment of the first crypto assets task force will not only help manage the risks around crypto trading but will also allow UK citizens to participate in one of the biggest financial revolutions of our time. This news further affirms the inevitability of Huobi’s presence in London, where we see massive potential for crypto to flourish,” Chung said to Finance Magnates.
A base in London could allow the exchange to begin building and launching products and services for a European customer base. Huobi could also see a London office as an opportunity to build strategic relationships with the global banks which have offices in the city.
Indeed, despite uncertainty in the future of London’s political and business connections because of Brexit, Bloomberg reported in September of 2017 that the city still ranks as the world’s “top financial center.”
Huobi’s continued expansion seems a rather positive response to the tribulations the exchange faced when China forced all domestic cryptocurrency exchanges to close up shop in Q4 of 2017 (Huobi was formerly based in Beijing.) You know what they say–when life gives you lemons, make several new branches of your cryptocurrency exchange.
(Photo: Robin Zhu, COO of Huobi)