Huobi, which was one of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges before the country expelled all such businesses, is to open an office in San Francisco, according to a report from Coindesk.
Cai Kailong, the chief strategy officer of the exchange, arrived in the US to help set up a US/China blockchain conference, and revealed its plan to establish a presence in the Silicon Valley area there.
Huobi has been active in expanding to new countries since it stopped trading in China.
Founded in 2013, at its peak Huobi had 1.65 million registered users and handled trading volumes of over 30 million yuan. Originally trading only Bitcoin, it added Ethereum trading in May 2017 and by December was offering 15 different cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, and BitConnect.
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And then the Chinese government ordered all cryptocurrency exchanges to pack up their things and leave. The exchange reportedly tried to resist the ban by utilising a loophole in the law, switching from the standard exchange model to P2P over the counter trading with fiat currency support, but in the end there was no escaping the crackdown.
It ceased all yuan trading, according to the government order, on the 31st of October 2017.
The company took this on the chin. Du Jun, co-founder of Huobi, said: “A good industry won’t collapse because of crackdowns by a single country…Six billion people are always better than 1.3 billion people.”
In October, Huobi opened offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea under the name Huobi.pro, and in December signed a partnership with SBI Group, one of the largest financial companies in Japan, to open two exchanges in that country in 2018.
Huobi is not alone in its search for a new home. BTCC, the world’s oldest Bitcoin exchange, was born in Shanghai in 2011 and also operated a highly successful Bitcoin mining operation and wallet service. It was forced to set up new headquarters in Hong Kong as a result of the Chinese government’s decision, which it did in September, preceding the ban.
We reported earlier this week on the acquisition of BTCC by a major Hong Kong blockchain investment fund – the exchange aims to use the money gained from this deal to aggressively expand with all three of its business arms.