Huobi Global to Migrate Spot Trading Services to Gibraltar

  • The new GFSC license enables Huobi to use DLT for “storing or transmitting value belonging to others” to or from Gibraltar.
  • Huobi hopes it will be able to attract both retail and institutional clients who want to trade through a regulated platform.
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Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global has received the green light from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) to move its spot trading services to its territory, Huobi said in a press release on 8 November.

According to the announcement, the GFSC has granted Huobi the license needed for the exchange to migrate its existing spot trading users, technology infrastructure, and cloud hosting to its licensed entity in Gibraltar, Huobi Technology (Gibraltar) Co. Ltd.. The exchange had already received a DLT license from the GFSC back in 2018 — when the regulator established its DLT regulatory framework — but until now it could only offer institutional brokerage and over-the-counter (OTC) services. Huobi Group’s co-founder, Du Jun, said in a statement:

“This marks a key milestone in Huobi’s global expansion efforts. The global cryptocurrency industry is moving towards compliant growth and we recognize the need to align our business with this trend. Gibraltar, as a highly experienced, sophisticated, and globally recognized international financial services center, fits our needs well.”

Previously, the exchange operated its spot trading business from the Seychelles through a “registered but unregulated entity”, but the new GFSC license will allow it to appeal to to institutional investors who want to trade through a regulated platform. The new license will enable the exchange to use DLT for storing or transmitting value belonging to others, within the scope of the “licensed activities authorized by the GFSC”, in or from Gibraltar.

The move came shortly after Huobi revealed it will be focusing on a global expansion and regulatory compliance, following China’s recent crypto crackdown. The exchange will not only move its trading business and technology to Gibraltar, but also expand its local team as more and more users are migrated.

The exchange has been hard at work towards “compliant growth since 2017”, which could be seen by the number of licenses it has acquired so far. It currently holds a DLT license, money lending license, and charity registration in Gibraltar, as well as a 007 crypto exchange license in Japan. It also has a Type 4 (advising on securities), Type 9 (asset management), Trust, and TCSP licenses in Hong Kong, and a trust company license in Nevada.

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