Crypto exchange Huobi Global seeking license to expand in Hong Kong

  • The Chinese special administrative region is considering new licensing and regulations.
  • Huobi wants to expand its businesses in Hong Kong to include retail investors.
  • Huobi also plans to open a new exchange named Huobi Hong Kong.

Huobi Global is planning to get a license in Hong Kong to allow it to accommodate retail customers as the Chinese special administrative region considers introducing new licensing and regulatory measures.

The move comes weeks after the cryptocurrency exchange recently decided to cut its workforce by 20% as covered in our recent crypto news. And if it was to be accorded the license to expand its business in Hong Kong, the exchange will increase its staff in Hong Kong from 50 to about 200 people.

New regulatory framework in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has introduced a new regulatory framework that requires crypto exchanges to register with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to expand their services in the city. The SFC recently opened the new licensing proposals for public comment and plans for the new laws to go into effect in June.

As a result, financial services providers including crypto exchanges like Huobi lining up to get registered under the new laws.

Besides seeking a license under the new law, Huobi also plans to open a new crypto exchange called Huobi Hong Kong to concentrate on high-net-worth retail investors and institutions. Justin Sun, the founder of Huobi, said in an interview with Nikkei Asia, that the exchange is also planning to increase its staff in Hong Kong from its current number of 50 to 200 by the end of the year.

Sun says that the friendlier stance on crypto in Hong Kong and the new regulation allowing retail investors to participate in crypto as the main motivation for the planned expansion.

Huobi also recently announced it was launching a Visa-backed crypto-to-fiat debit card for Huobi customers in the European Economic Area. 

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