After a lackluster year, Huobi's U.S. partner exchange is shutting down operations

Huobi Group's partner exchange aimed at American customers, HBUS, is closing its operations after a little more than a year in business.

Announced Monday, HBUS said it would stop offering trading services from Dec. 15 and customers have until Jan. 31 to withdraw their funds. The San Francisco-based exchange said it plans to “return in a more integrated” way as part of its “ongoing strategic layout" without disclosing any further details. 

Just last month, Huobi froze all accounts of U.S. users and encouraged users to use HBUS. "You may open an account in HBUS, if needed, the exclusive US strategic partner of Huobi Global, and transfer your assets to their platform," the announcement read.

HBUS launched in the U.S. in July 2018 after long negotiations with Huobi Group. HBUS, a fully compliant U.S. entity, licensed part of Huobi's software and used the domain. However, HBUS struggled to gain traction amid strong competition in the U.S. as well as internal issues. now once again directs to Huobi.

The shutdown follows the exits of key members of HBUS' executive team. Oren Blonstein, who took over the CEO position in September, left the company in December, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The post was previously helmed by Frank Fu, who is now a managing director at Fenbushi Capital.