Crypto exchange Huobi Global is planning to move its Asian headquarters from Singapore to Hong Kong, a member of Huobi’s advisory board, Justin Sun said in an interview with Nikkei Asian on Monday.
The move comes after the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Trading Commission (SFC) proposed a new licensing regime for virtual assets providers. By complying with this framework, crypto exchanges will be able to serve retail investors with “large-cap tokens”.
The SFC is receiving public feedback on the proposals until March 31, and it is expected that the new licensing regime would come into force on June 1 this year.
Sun, who is also the founder of the blockchain network TRON, said he is fully confident that the company would get the virtual asset trading license from the city’s regulators. Meanwhile, Houbi also applied for the license in 2022 but failed to comply with regulatory requirements at that time.
However, only two companies, OSL and Hash Blockchain, have so far received licenses to operate there in 2020 and 2022 respectively.
Sun told Nikkei Asia:
“These three years, Hong Kong’s regulatory framework has seen a lot of change for the better, so I am very confident in the future of crypto compliance in Asia, Hong Kong, and hopefully China.”
To attract crypto assets investors and companies, the Hong Kong government should ensure a predictable and stable regulatory environment, he added.
Huobi To Introduce Its New Subsidiary In Hong Kong
Huobi also plans to introduce a local subsidiary named Huobi Hong Kong. It would focus on offering crypto services for high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors, according to a Twitter thread by Justin Sun. It positions the company as a safe and reliable place for investors in Asia looking to enter the crypto space.
Exciting news! Huobi is stoked about Hong Kong's pro-crypto policies & we're working hard to secure our crypto license there. Our aim is to be one of the first fully compliant exchanges in HK & collaborate with our Asia-Pacific users to drive digital asset growth! #Huobi #Crypto pic.twitter.com/ktZw1WE2cs
— Huobi (@HuobiGlobal) February 20, 2023
“This is a major step for the major cryptocurrency exchange and a sign of its continued commitment to operating in a compliant and regulated manner. In addition to the licensing news. The exchange will be fully compliant with local regulations and offer a range of trading pairs and services to customers.”
Big news for crypto today: @HuobiGlobal has announced that it's applying for a crypto trading license in Hong Kong🇭🇰! This is a major step for the major cryptocurrency exchange and a sign of its continued commitment to operating in a compliant and regulated manner. 🇨🇳
— H.E. Justin Sun 孙宇晨 (@justinsuntron) February 20, 2023
During the interview, the Sun revealed that Huobi may increase its Hong Kong subsidiary’s headcount from 50 to 200 employees this year.
Last month, Huobi announced a 20% reduction in staff as part of the company’s efforts to tighten its belts during the ongoing crypto winter.
Referring to the “recent turmoil”, the SFC’s chief executive officer, Julia Leung, mentioned the fall of giant players such as FTX. She primarily emphasized the need for investor protection and transparency in the digital market.
“In light of the recent turmoil and the collapse of some leading crypto trading platforms around the world, there is clear consensus among regulators globally for regulation in the virtual asset space to ensure investors are adequately protected and key risks are effectively managed.”
On the other hand, the founder of the Seychelles-based OKX crypto exchange, Star Xu, said that the firm started its application for a license in Hong Kong the previous year.
Amazing news. OKX has started the Hong Kong crypto license application from 2022. https://t.co/0SXreXQwk8
— Star (@star_okx) February 17, 2023