UPDATE 14:35 GMT: Huobi informed Finance Magnates that the Seychelles regulator took down the warning after consultation with the crypto exchange.
The Seychelles’ Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a warning against Huobi Global Limited on Monday, announcing that the cryptocurrency exchange is not licensed for doing business within its jurisdiction.
Huobi, which exiled from China after the communist government’s crackdown on crypto exchanges, is said to be offering its services from its Seychelles-registered legal entity, Huobi Global Limited.
The Seychelles regulator pointed out that, according to publicly available data, Huobi Global Limited appears to be affiliated with the online trading platform for virtual assets called Huobi Global.
“The FSA hereby informs the public that the aforementioned IBC does not hold any license issued by the FSA to undertake such type of activity. Therefore, the entity is not being regulated by the FSA nor has it been in the past,” the warning statement added.
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Further, the regulator warned the public to be cautious while dealing with such an entity.
“The FSA strongly urges investors and members of the public to exercise caution in respect to the services offered by the above-mentioned IBC any other company providing such services,” the regulator added.
In a statement shared with Finance Magnates, Huobi contradicted the regulator’s warning. “Huobi Global Limited is a Seychelles registered company under Huobi Group. It provides services to global customers in accordance with applicable laws,” a company spokesperson said. “We are currently in good standing with the FSA and communicating closely with them to clarify the situation. It is our understanding that the alert in question will be reverted soon.”
Turning Hostile Towards Crypto?
The Seychelles is popular for housing many cryptocurrency exchanges, the most popular being BitMEX, the Co-founder and former CEO of which bragged about bribing peanuts to the regulator in gaining their license. OKEx and KuCoin are two other popular crypto exchanges licensed by the Seychelles regulator.
Interestingly, regulators disowning crypto exchanges are not new. Earlier, Binance faced similar regulatory pushback when the Maltese regulator issued a statement mentioning that the crypto exchange giant was not authorized by it. Furthermore, Binance set up an entity in Seychelles in 2019.