Huobi Group, the parent company of cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, is expanding into the brokerage business as it prioritizes attracting institutional investors.
Named Huobi Brokerage, the new service was announced on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The platform is live now at almost all regions where the Huobi exchange has a presence, with the exception of China, a Huobi spokesperson confirmed to The Block.
The brokerage arm is the first product of Huobi’s Global Institutional Business (GIB) arm, a newly-established division targeting institutional clients. Since Q3, 2019, Huobi has seen a 400% growth in institutional clients with 1,700 investors onboarded, Huobi claimed in a press release.
“GIB currently has offices in London, Singapore, and Hong Kong and will be a top priority for Huobi in 2020 as it continues to expand globally,” stated the press release.
Similar to U.S.-based crypto broker Tagomi, Huobi Brokerage provides the best order execution by routing clients’ orders to several trading platforms, including exchanges besides Huobi and over-the-counter (OTC) desks, according to the spokesperson. Although Huobi declined to disclose any exchanges, it is working with Chicago-based Jump Trading and Hong Kong-based Alameda Research as its OTC partners, said the spokesperson.
The move may help the company capture institutional investors and high net worth individuals who have a greater appetite in crypto than exchange users, where Huobi now draws large trading volumes. As such, besides order routing, the brokerage platform also supports block trading, customized financing, and other solutions that appeal to traders looking to place big bets.
“2019 brought the first wave of institutional interest but 2020 is when we expect to see the industry mature with growing demand. As we enter the next phase of crypto, Huobi staking an active role in setting new standards for institutional and retail clients alike,” said Huobi Group vice president Ciara Sun.
Update: a previous version of the story stated that Ciara Sun is the vice president of GIB. The story has since been updated to reflect that Sun is the vice president of Huobi Group.
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