Prominent Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi is preparing to launch a new trading platform in the United States in May, having recently registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as a money services business. The announcement comes after government crackdowns in China forced Huobi and other Chinese exchanges to cease yuan-denominated trading in October 2017, altering their business plans.
According to Huobi’s COO, Robin Zhu, the new foray into the U.S. market is a major piece of their broader international expansion effort following the forced pivot. Zhu indicated the move might make sense for the company anyway, as it now has a more-diverse user base with less than half of the exchange’s three million users in China. It follows that Huobi has since opened offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea, and there are plans for a similar venture in Japan.
The company’s new San Francisco office initially focused on blockchain startups, but the presence of compliance experts on the payroll signaled the possibility of a US launch before the recent official announcement. The only impediment to launching is the usual suspect – regulatory issues. CEO Li Lin recognizes that registering with FinCEN may not resolve any regulatory problems, but he is optimistic about his company’s ability to launch a new exchange. "The issue is, currently there is no clear regulatory requirement for crypto-to-crypto trading platforms from the U.S. at the federal level. Other [exchange] platforms like Poloniex also operate in a similar way with registration as a money service business," Li said.
While Li and the rest of the crypto world wait for the SEC to rule on the status of crypto-to-crypto trading in the United States (the verdict of which would clarify some regulatory issues), he has pledged complete compliance with any regulations, should they arise. The May launch date remains active (for now), and a crypto-buying public anxious for alternatives to Coinbase may have their newest option soon.
Interested in Trading Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are complex, and an investor is often venturing into the unknown when buying and selling. Don’t be one of those investors. Tickeron has resources to help you get started in cryptocurrency investing, from an extensive library filled with definitions and articles to Artificial Intelligence trained to find patterns and trends in the crypto markets. Learn more about Tickeron’s resources and tools at tickeron.com.