Despite the explosive growth of cryptocurrency trading over the past two years, fiat-to-crypto platforms are still relatively scarce. Even among the top venues, many preferred to stay away from the space altogether, presumably due to increased regulatory scrutiny that comes with delving into this territory.
This attitude, however, is changing in 2019 after a prolonged crypto winter hit the crypto exchanges’ volumes and fortunes.
Today, the US arm of Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced that it is launching a new fiat-to-crypto exchange, according to a press release seen by Cointelegraph.
To begin with, the exchange will initially list three major pairs all tied to US dollar against Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT) with more pairings to follow after review and screening. It also plans to add more in the future depending on customer response.
Huobi, the third largest crypto exchange by 24-hour trading volume, announced last month a mutual rebranding with its exclusive US strategic partner HBUS. Per the agreement, HBUS has licensed the Huobi brand and rebranded its retail trading platform from HBUS.com to Huobi.com.
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Huobi Group’s crypto platform continued to operate under the same name but changed its domain to hbg.com. HBUS marketplace rebranded as Huobi and migrated its trading platform to huobi.com, which is now open to American customers.
Expanding into New Directions
Huobi is also preparing the infrastructure to launch its own stablecoin in the first half of 2019. The exchange already has an ‘all-in-one stablecoin’ wrapper called HUSD which supports four US-regulated stablecoins: Paxos Standard (PAX), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), and Gemini Dollar (GUSD). Notably, Tether (USDT) has been left out.
Meanwhile, the Nevada trust company will provide custody for Huobi’s fiat-crypto venue and is looking to facilitate clearing and settlement of OTC block trades.
Prime Trust is already famous at the blockchain space thanks to its back-office solutions. The company began its Bitcoin storage service in July, and then added support for Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens.
Prime Trust, however, is not the only company providing infrastructure and operational cryptocurrency custodianship for the wider investment management industry. Leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, Japanese financial holdings company Nomura and most recently SIX Group, the owner of SIX Swiss Exchange, have all recently launched similar services for institutional investors.