Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced Monday that it has received approval from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) to migrate its spot trading business to the British overseas territory.
Huobi currently operates its spot trading business from Seychelles through a "registered but unregulated entity," Jeff Mei, director of global strategy at Huobi Group, told The Block. The move to Gibraltar means Huobi's spot trading business will be regulated by the GFSC via a licensed entity called Huobi Technology (Gibraltar) Co. Ltd., said Mei.
Huobi said the Gibraltar entity received a distributed ledger technology (DLT) license from the GFSC in December 2018, but it was only for institutional brokerage and over-the-counter (OTC) services. Now that the spot trading business has also been approved, the exchange said it can begin migrating all of its spot trading users to the licensed entity.
"The Gibraltar entity will offer spot trading services globally," said Mei. He added that Huobi already has a local office in Gibraltar and is moving some of its technology infrastructure and cloud hosting in the territory. Huobi may also expand its local team as more users are migrated, he said.
The company's move to Gibraltar comes as it focuses on international markets and more regulatory compliance after China's latest crypto crackdown in September. With the migration, Huobi said it will be able to attract both retail and institutional clients who want to trade through a regulated platform.
Gibraltar introduced the DLT regulatory framework in 2018, and since then, it has attracted several industry players, including Bitso, LMAX Digital, INX, and eToro.
As for Huobi, the company says it has licenses in Japan (007 crypto exchange license), Hong Kong [type 4 (advising on securities), type 9 (asset management), trust, and trust or company service provider license], and in the U.S. as well (trust company license in Nevada), besides Gibraltar.
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