by Kieran Smith
Singapore-based exchange Huobi has spoken of plans to expand operations to London.The Huobi team were in London on April 17, 2018, to launch phase II of the Huobi Knights program and unveil four new projects.
The news comes amid a recent spate of Asia-based exchanges expanding to international shores. Binance and OKex have announced plans to move to Malta, and Coinone is opening up to foreign traders through a move to Indonesia.
Both Huobi and Binance were forced to move overseas after the Chinese government announced a ban on ICOs and domestic exchanges in September 2017. Binance moved its headquarters to Hong Kong and had since announced plans to open an office in Malta. Huobi moved to Singapore, and now seem to be using that as a base for their international expansion.
The exchange launched operations in South Korea last month, and in January revealed plans to open an office in San Francisco. According to Coinmarketcap, Huobi holds the fourth position of the most substantial exchanges by trading volume globally.
Despite uncertainty over the effect Brexit might have on business, London remains the nerve center of the financial world and continues to provide unparalleled opportunities for making political and business connections.
Peng Hu, Vice President of the Huobi Group, said:
“Not Malta, not Switzerland. Absolutely London, more precisely Britain, is the entry point for the European market for us.”
A base in London could give the exchange the opportunity to build relationships with the many banks in the city, or potentially serve as a platform for further European expansion, allowing the exchange to create offerings and coin-pairings for customers on the continent.
No Fear of Regulation
The UK has issued no certain stance on cryptocurrency and is thought to still be drawing up rules governing buying and selling.
Chung commented that his team isn’t not concerned with regulation and was willing to comply as required, adding that the plan to expand “shows Huobi’s commitment and determination to go mainstream,” and that “we are not afraid of regulation nor are we escaping regulation.”
While London stalls, other countries have been more forthcoming with crypto-friendly legislation. Malta, the ‘Blockchain Island,’ Switzerland with ‘Crypto Valley,’ and even the tiny kingdom of Liechtenstein have all made an effort to accommodate cryptocurrency businesses by passing friendly legislation to foster this growing industry.