Huobi Secures Its FSA License in Japan, Other Large Players Are Pending

On Jan. 17, Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, one of the largest players on the market, relaunched as a fully licensed platform in Japan after merging with the BitTrade exchange.

Branching out to Japan, where compliance is valued and many regulatory measures are imposed for crypto players by domestic regulators, is a complex process. Here’s how Huobi entered the market, and which firms might soon follow suit.

Specifics of the Japanese market and the FSA’s role in it

Japan is one of the world’s largest markets for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins can be used as a legally accepted means of payment there, although they are not considered “legal tender.” Being closely overseen by the national financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), the Japanese crypto market is also one of the most compliant and regulation-oriented.

Since the amendment of Japan’s Payment Services Act in April 2017, all crypto exchanges in the country are required to register with the FSA. Counting Huobi’s recent merger with BitTrade, the pool of exchanges cleared to serve the Japanese market currently consists of 17 platforms: Money Partners, Liquid (previously known as Quoine), Bitflyer, BitBank, SBI Virtual Currencies, GMO Coin, Btcbox, Bitpoint, Fisco Virtual Currency, Zaif, Tokyo Bitcoin Exchange, Bit Arg Exchange Tokyo, FTT Corporation, Xtheta Corporation, Huobi and Coincheck.

The FSA is known to have a tight grip on local exchanges, firmly reacting to security breaches after a number of high-profile local crypto exchange incidents, namely last year’s bizzare $532 million Coincheck hack and the infamous collapse of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox. The FSA also conducts on-site inspections of exchanges that have their registration pending and occasionally asks exchanges to submit their risk management system reports in the wake of security breaches.

For instance, in March 2018, following the Coincheck hack, the watchdog sent “punishment notices” to as many as seven crypto exchanges and temporarily froze the activities of two more after a round of inspections. Business improvement orders were sent for a lack of “the proper and required internal control systems,” with Coincheck being specifically cited as missing a framework for preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Shortly after the regulator’s move, two local exchanges — Mr. Exchange and Tokyo GateWay — decided to close up shop.

As a result of the FSA’s thorough supervision, some players have decided to quit the Japanese market. Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges that had opened an office in the country, turned to Malta — the famously crypto-friendly country — after the regulator had issued a warning in March 2018. Similarly, around the same time, crypto exchange Kraken also decided to end its services in Japan, although citing the rising costs of doing business there as the primary reason for relocation. Japanese social messaging app Line has also decided to exclude the domestic market prior to the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange, citing local regulatory difficulties.

In May of last year, the FSA rolled out further regulatory stipulations for domestic crypto exchanges, intensifying its efforts to prevent another major hack. Exchanges were required to monitor customer accounts multiple times per day for suspicious fluctuations and must comply with stricter Anti-Money Laundering (AML) measures, which specifically demand Know Your  Customer (KYC) checks, such as ID verification. There have also been reports regarding the FSA potentially prohibiting the trading of anonymity-oriented altcoins — such as Dash (DASH) and Monero (XMR) — in the future.

In July, the agency underwent a major redo aimed at improving its presence in fintech-related fields, including cryptocurrencies. Thus, the Strategy Development and Management Bureau replaced the Inspection Bureau to develop a financial strategy policy and handle issues addressing the digital currencies market, fintech and money laundering.

The Policy and Markets Bureau, in turn, succeeded the Planning and Coordination Bureau, and was tasked with developing a legal framework that addresses the rapid growth of the fintech sector.

In August 2018, Toshihide Endo, the commissioner of the FSA, said that his agency wants the cryptocurrency industry to “grow under appropriate regulation.” The official added:

“We have no intention to curb [the crypto industry] excessively. We would like to see it grow under appropriate regulation.”

In response to regulatory pressures, a self-regulatory body named the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) has emerged, comprised of the local exchanges. In October 2018, Japan’s financial regulator formally granted self-regulatory status to the JVCEA to oversee the crypto sector. Therefore, the JVCEA might have a better say when it comes to the industry standards in the future. Specifically, the self-regulatory outfit is now expected to develop AML policies for crypto exchanges.

Huobi’s way of getting the FSA clearance — and similar attempts from the past

Founded in China in 2013, Huobi Group has been headquartered in Singapore since Beijing’s crackdown on domestic crypto-fiat exchanges in September 2017. As part of its ongoing overseas expansion efforts, the platform has recently rebranded its United States-based strategic partner trading platform HBUS to the better recognized the Huobi name. Now, the platform — currently the world’s sixth largest by daily traded volume — has expanded to the Japanese market. Huobi’s arrival follows the news about Coincheck receiving full permission from the FSA to continue operating in the country after the above mentioned security breach.

Huobi’s press release emphasizes its security precaution, outlining that Huobi Japan “features specialized distributed architecture, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack countermeasures system, and A+ ranked SSL certification (the highest available).”

According to the official announcement, Huobi Japan supports the trading of Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) and Monacoin (MONA).

Importantly, Huobi didn’t receive the FSA license from scratch, going through a different route instead. Although Japan’s Payment Services Act allows foreign operators to register in the country as “virtual currency exchange service providers,” Huobi has relaunched as a fully licensed platform in Japan after acquiring a majority stake in BitTrade last September. At the time, BitTrade was one of only 16 crypto exchanges in the country to have secured a license from the FSA.

However, Huobi’s market expansion through acquisition of a pre-approved FSA platform is not an entirely new move: In June 2018, BitTrade became Japan’s first FSA-licensed platform to be entirely purchased by an international investor, the Singaporean multi-millionaire and entrepreneur Eric Cheng. The investor also acquired BitTrade’s affiliate company at the time, FX Trade Financial Co., Ltd — one of Japan’s leading forex trading platforms. Following the Huobi deal, FX Trade Financial kept 25 percent of BitTrade’s shares.

BitTrade Acquisition Breakdown

More exchanges to receive the FSA’s blessing: Coinbase, Yahoo and others

Other players are only preparing to enter the market, still waiting to get clearance from the FSA. As Cointelegraph Japan reported on Jan. 12, seven applications will be either approved or rejected by the FSA within six months. The article also revealed the FSA’s complex and lengthy routine of reviewing crypto exchanges that have applied for a license.

Thus, the FSA conducts a procedure that takes almost six months from the time of application — which includes the submission of answers to over 400 questions — to final decision.

After receiving the answers, the FSA communicates with the company to verify its business plan, governance, cybersecurity and management system, along with its AML and counter-terrorist financing measures. In that phase of the review — which reportedly takes about four months — the agency’s officers personally double-check the company’s practices in person. After that, the company officially submits their application to the FSA. The agency then finally reviews the documents and decides whether or not to grant the license.

The financial regulator stated that there are 21 companies taking part in the first part of the review as of January, while seven are already in the decision phase. Therefore, up to seven companies could be granted a new license by the summer. In total, the FSA has reportedly received around 190 cryptocurrency exchange license applications.

Perhaps the most major of the pending candidates is San Francisco-based Coinbase, which revealed its plans to enter the Japanese crypto market in June 2018. Being a compliance-oriented company, Coinbase has made positive remarks about Japan’s crypto regulatory climate in the past, saying that the FSA’s intense focus on security is “good for us.” Given that the U.S. exchange originally planned to establish its operation in Japan “within the year,” the FSA is likely to approve or decline its application at some point in the next few months.

Moreover, the Japanese arm of the internet giant Yahoo will reportedly open their own crypto exchange “in April 2019 or later,” through buying 40 percent of BitARG Exchange Tokyo. Other potential players to open a crypto exchange in Japan include Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the largest domestic bank. In January 2018, South Korean newspaper KBS reported the financial group’s plans — however, there has been no update since.

Also, Money Forward, the company behind a popular financial management application that has over 7 million users in Japan, recently shared details regarding the upcoming launch of its cryptocurrency exchange. Thus, Money Forward is reportedly planning to open their yet-to-be-named platform between January and March 2019, although it depends on how the registration with the FSA will go.

Licensed Exchanges in Japan

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Huobi Resumes Trading in Japan as FSA-Licensed Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi — currently the world’s 7th largest by daily traded volume — has relaunched as a fully licensed platform in Japan after merging with BitTrade. The news was announced in a press release published Jan. 17.

As reported, Huobi Global’s wholly owned subsidiary, Huobi Japan Holding Ltd, acquired a majority stake in BitTrade last September. At the time, BitTrade was one of only 16 crypto exchanges in the country to have secured a license from national financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Leon Li, Huobi Group Founder and CEO, has said that securing the license represents a significant milestone for Huobi, given the importance of the Japanese market.

Huobi’s press release takes pains to emphasize security provisions, outlining that Huobi Japan “features specialized distributed architecture, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack countermeasures system, and A+ ranked SSL certification (the highest available).”

According to the press release, Huobi Japan supports trading of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Monacoin (MONA).

While a license has been mandatory for all crypto exchanges operating within Japan since the amendment of the country’s Payment Services Act back in April 2017, the FSA has continued to ratchet up requirements for applicants throughout 2018, in the wake of last January’s industry-record-breaking $532 million theft of NEM tokens from Coincheck.

Ahead of Huobi’s majority stake deal — BitTrade became Japan’s first FSA-licensed platform to be fully acquired by an international investor, the Singaporean multi-millionaire and entrepreneur Eric Cheng. The investor also acquired BitTrade’s affiliate company, FX Trade Financial Co., Ltd — one of Japan’s leading forex trading platforms. Following the Huobi deal, FX Trade Financial retained 25 percent of the BitTrade’s shares.

Founded in China in 2013, Huobi Group has been headquartered in Singapore since Beijing’s crackdown on domestic crypto-fiat exchanges in September 2017. As part of its ongoing overseas expansion efforts, the platform has recently rebranded its United States-based strategic partner trading platform HBUS to the better known Huobi name.

Following Coincheck’s very recent acquisition of an FSA license, the total number of regulator-approved exchanges in Japan stands at 17.

Last fall, an executive from leading U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase made positive remarks about Japan’s crypto regulatory climate, saying that the FSA’s intense focus on security is “good for us.” Coinbase has had plans to secure a license to operate within the country in the works since June 2018.

Huobi has seen $299.6 million in trades over the 24 hours to press time, according to CoinMarketCap data.

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Huobi Opens First Russian Office in Partnership with State Bank’s Digital Tech Center

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has officially launched its first branch in Russia on Thursday, Dec. 6, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph today.

The Moscow-based exchange, dubbed Huobi Russia, is established in partnership with the state-owned Russian Development Bank’s (VEB) Digital Transformation Center and supported by Huobi’s regional exchange partnership program, Huobi Cloud.

The Center of Digital Transformation was created by VEB to promote blockchain and other crypto-related technologies, as its website states.

Back in September of this year, Huobi first joined Russia’s VEB Innovation Fund and became a resident of the Digital Transformation Center to share experience on crypto regulation, with the fund’s CEO claiming that Huobi’s expertise will assist in building a “legal basis that could compete with current promising jurisdictions.”

Speaking at a private event on Thursday, Huobi senior business director David Chen claimed that the launch of Huobi Russia will help to promote the company’s “leading technology and trading expertise to Russian users,” including such skills as “unmatched safety, stability, and user experience.”

Huobi Russia CEO Andrei Grachev also noted the increasing volumes of crypto trading in Russia, claiming that the volumes have “recently exceeded US $20 million in a single day,” regardless of the current bear market.

Russia’s VEB Innovation Fund, created in 2011, is reportedly the “first” Russian specialized center for support and development of disruptive technologies in the fields of management and the functioning of enterprises and government corporations, according to the center’s website.

The innovation center is exploring and implementing various blockchain projects, and houses more than 20 branches of major blockchain and tech companies such as the Ethereum Foundation, Bitcoin (BTC) tech company Bitfury, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and others.

Vladimir Demin, chairman of VEB’s Innovation Fund, claimed that Russia is “actively promoting the blockchain market,” with VEB willing to play an “important role as a leader in blockchain research and legislation,” as reported in the press release.

Founded in 1922, VEB bank, or “the state corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs,” is the first international bank of the Soviet Union, originally named Roskombank. The bank is responsible for developing the Russian economy, as well as managing Russia’s state debts and pension funds.

Other Russian banks have also shown an interest in blockchain technology.

Recently, major Russian state-backed bank Sberbank conducted an over-the-counter (OTC) monetary repurchase agreement based on blockchain technology. And earlier in November, the Russian branch of Raiffeisen Bank International teamed up with local state oil giant Gazprom Neft to issue a blockchain-enabled bank guarantee.

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Top Crypto Exchange Huobi Pays Its Dues to Beijing by Setting up Communist Party Committee

The company behind major cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has created a Communist Party branch as part of its obligations to the Chinese state, the company’s U.S.-based subsidiary Huobi Info confirmed Nov. 16.

Singapore-based Huobi, which was founded in China and has sought considerable international expansion this year, has appeared to opt for “closer ties” with the government. As local news outlet South China Morning Post notes, the company is creating the Party branch at an additional subsidiary, Beijing Lianhuo Information Service (BLIS).

The opening attracted an audience and speeches, including comments from Huobi founder and CEO Li Lin, who owns a 99 percent stake in BLIS, according to the publication.

Under Chinese law, any company with more than three Communist Party member employees must set up its own branch, the Post notes, adding that until recently, the practice was nonetheless mostly confined to state enterprises.

Huobi thus becomes evidently the first cryptocurrency industry business to embrace the tradition, following in the footsteps of Baidu, Alibaba and others.

“Today is a milestone for our company,” Li said at the opening, continuing:

“Under the cordial care of the Party Working Committee of Haidian Park, the party branch of the Beijing Lianhuo Information Service Co., Ltd. has been gloriously established.”

China remains a difficult jurisdiction in which to conduct cryptocurrency-focused business, a ban on trading and “propaganda” creating a cautious atmosphere among investors, while sparking a slow exodus of many outfits to neighboring Hong Kong and further afield.

Last month, an annual ranking of China’s richest citizens included Li among several cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.

Huobi is currently the world’s third largest crypto exchange by daily trade volumes, seeing about $754.8 million in trades over the past 24 hours to press time.

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Huobi’s US-Based Strategic Partner HBUS Hires Former Exec of VC Firm Draper Athena

HBUS, the strategic partner of top crypto exchange Huobi, has hired a former executive of venture capital (VC) firm Draper Athena, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Nov. 13.

The HBUS trading platform, which currently employs around 40 people in their headquarters in San Francisco, has officially announced the appointment of Jay Ryu, formerly of Draper Athena, as Vice President of Corporate Development.

As the press release states, Ryu previously worked with prominent figures in the VC industry, such as Draper Athena chairman Tim Draper, well-known for his pro-crypto stance.

According to the report, with seven years of experience as Venture Capital Director at Draper Athena, Ryu led technology investments across Silicon Valley, Asia, and the Middle East. Apart of Draper Athena, the VC expert is also a founder of investment consulting group Rage Partners, as well as a former managing partner and strategic advisor for the private equity group Checkmate Capital.

The new HBUS entrant commented in the release that the current condition of the crypto and blockchain industry is “drastically different than what we witnessed last year,” stressing that the community is “rapidly maturing,” which attracts more institutional players to the field.

Huobi, the third largest crypto exchange by trade volume, first announced their U.S. strategic partner in June this year. Following the announcement, HBUS’ trading platform went live on July 10, offering its customers trading in 22 cryptocurrencies, including  Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Reportedly positioning themselves as “aggressively” competitive with major crypto services such as Coinbase and Robinhood, HBUS has recently announced the release of its API for “experienced traders,” intending to expand crypto-related tools for institutional investors.

At press time, Huobi is ranked 3rd among crypto exchanges on CoinMarketCap by daily trade volumes, with about $388.2 million in trades. HBUS is ranked 142nd for daily trade volumes, seeing about $255K in trades over the past 24 hours.

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Third Largest Crypto Exchange Huobi Opens Deposits for New ‘Stablecoin Solution’ HUSD

Singapore-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced the creation of what it calls a “stablecoin solution” in a blog post Friday, Oct. 19.

Set to go live from Friday, the project, known as HUSD, will consist of Huobi’s own stablecoin asset which investors can use as an go-between to interact with four USD-backed stablecoins currently listed on the exchange.

Specifically, Huobi will accept and store Paxos Standard (PAX), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC) and Gemini Dollars (GUSD), giving users a balance in HUSD as a kind of aggregator of all four.

According to Huobi’s post, users can then cash out the same stablecoin they deposited or select from any of the other three.

HUSD will also be tradeable against other cryptocurrencies, beginning with controversial stablecoin Tether (USDT), followed by Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Commenting on the project, Huobi said it would expand it to cover other stablecoins in future.

“We will keep a close watch on new stablecoins that appear on the market and optimize the HUSD standards,” executives wrote:

“We look forward to more stablecoins being involved in the HUSD system.”

Huobi announced the listing of the above four USD-backed stablecoins earlier this week, following a similar move by OKEx.

Huobi is currently the third largest crypto exchange globally by daily trading volumes, seeing about $416 million in trades on the day to press time.

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SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM Unveiled

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM Unveiled

Exchanges

Japan’s SBI Group is reportedly planning to create a crypto derivatives platform. In South Korea, Huobi is taking an aggressive approach and expects to achieve a 30% crypto market share. Meanwhile, a Thai crypto exchange has unveiled an ATM that supports four cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM UnveiledSBI Crypto Investment, a subsidiary of Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings, has acquired a 12% stake in North Carolina-based Clear Markets, Nikkei reported Tuesday.

While the acquisition price was not disclosed, the news outlet estimates that the stake “is likely worth about 1 billion yen ($9 million),” elaborating:

Although digital currencies are more volatile than other asset classes, a derivatives market for them that can hedge against risk remains undeveloped. SBI Crypto therefore wants to build a platform that will allow institutional investors to smoothly trade these instruments.

Last month, SBI Virtual Currencies, the crypto exchange unit of SBI Holdings, opened its Vtrade service to the public following a limited launch in June. The exchange currently supports XRP, BCH, and BTC, but plans to add ETH in the near future.

Thai Multi-Crypto ATM

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM UnveiledThai cryptocurrency exchange Coin Asset unveiled its crypto ATM at the Hybrid Summit on July 28 and 29, according to Prachachat Turakij newspaper.

CEO Sivanus Yamdee explained that the ATM allows customers to purchase and sell BTC, ETH, LTC, and BCH in amounts as low as 100 baht (~US$3). The company plans to add more coins in the future based on demand from customers. The ATM also allows withdrawals in Thai baht.

The machine has a large touch screen and prints out a receipt after each transaction.

Coin Asset has reportedly applied for a license with Thai Securities and Exchange Commission; the agency began accepting applications last week.

Huobi Plans to Achieve 30% Korean Market Share

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM UnveiledChinese exchange Huobi is planning to aggressively pursue the Korean market, according to Asia Economic news outlet. The exchange launched its trading platform in Korea in March.

At the Huobi Carnival 2018 event on August 2 in Seoul, Kim Young-chul, head of the Strategic Planning Division of Huobi Korea, announced the company’s long-term strategy. He said:

The number of members has grown rapidly to 200,000 members within two months after the opening of the virtual currency exchange…We aim to achieve 30% market share in the next year.

In addition, Kim revealed that Huobi Korea will conduct various blockchain-based businesses alongside its exchange business. It will also actively recruit talented people. In February, Huobi Korea announced that it was looking for an “Innovation Business Team Leader,” a position with a minimum annual salary of 100 million won (~$88,596). “This policy will continue…We will hire more talented people in the industry,” Kim detailed.

What do you think of SBI’s derivatives platform, Huobi eying 30% market share in Korea, and the Thai crypto ATM? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, SBI Group, Huobi Korea, and Coin Asset.


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Media: Crypto Exchange Huobi’s OTC Trading Platform to Support India Rupee Transactions

Huobi, currently the world’s third largest crypto exchange by daily trading volumes, is set to support Indian rupee (INR) transactions on its proprietary peer-to-peer trading platform, according to an email cited by Crypto News India July 26.

Huobi, whose over-the-counter (OTC) service will reportedly offer Indian users zero-fee trading on Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT) using rupees, noted in the email that:

“We do think it’s time that we provide a solution of buying/selling digital assets with INR for all Indian users…every registered Indian user of Huobi can log in to https://otc.huobi.com to trade digital assets with INR.”

The email reportedly goes on to advise customers that they can transfer to Huobi Global if they want to trade more cryptocurrencies with “high liquidity.”

The OTC option for Indian traders has yet to be confirmed in an official announcement beyond Crypto News’ cited correspondence, although the platform did reach out to a spokesperson who has allegedly confirmed that INR trading will be supported.

Huobi has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for confirmation by press time.

News of Huobi OTC’s reported support for rupee transactions is especially significant for the Indian crypto space in light of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) controversial ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related businesses and persons, which came into force July 5.

On July 4, one day prior to the deadline for the ban’s implementation, local crypto exchange WazirX revealed it would itself be transforming into a peer-to-peer platform so as to avoid in-house crypto-fiat conversion.

The central bank’s crypto dealings ban — first announced in April 2018 — has prompted both public and industry-led petitions, with some appealing to the courts on the grounds that the decision is unconstitutional.

Ongoing hearings on the ban at the Supreme Court have seen the judiciary refuse to grant interim relief to those that purport to be affected. Ten days ago, the court deferred the final hearing on the ban — originally scheduled for July 20 — until September 2018.

Alongside this most recent bid to reach out to an Indian user base, Singapore-headquartered Huobi has been rapidly expanding overseas throughout 2018. Trading has recently opened on its new “strategic partner” platform in the U.S., having launched a South Korean subsidiary this spring as well as unveiling a London-based operation, with OTC trading tests for the U.K. market expected to begin in the third quarter of this year.

Huobi has seen $968.7 million in trades over the 24-hour period to press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in India

Exchanges

Following several announcements of plans for global expansion, this week crypto exchange Huobi has reportedly informed Indian users of its intentions to present them with a P2P platform that allows trading in Indian rupee. The email notice published by local media promises zero transaction fees for exchanging BTC, ETH, and USDT.

Also read: 3 Million Brits Invested in Crypto via Exchanges, Few Sought Advice

Reports: Huobi to Launch P2P Platform for Indians

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has announced in an email to Indian users its decision to offer peer-to-peer trading services in their country, local crypto media reported. The notice states that they will be entitled to zero transaction fees for trades in bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and tether (USDT). Users will be able to buy and sell these cryptocurrencies with support for transactions in Indian rupees (INR), according to a copy of the correspondence published by Crypto News, India.

The exchange says that “[…] we do think it’s time that we provide a solution of buying/selling digital assets with INR for all Indian users: Huobi OTC – a proprietary peer-to-peer (P2P) platform that allow[s] users and merchants to trade digital assets with your local currencies.” The crypto company also notes that “every registered Indian user of Huobi can log in to https://otc.huobi.com to trade digital assets with INR.” Customers are also advised to transfer to Huobi Global if they want to trade more cryptocurrencies with high liquidity.

Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in India

The announcement was made after Huobi recently sent a questionnaire to its Indian users. In another email, the exchange also invited them to become “Global Merchants”. The message read, “After becoming a global merchant of Huobi OTC, you will be entitled to: post-fiat-to-token advertisements to gain more earnings during “Buy & Sell” processes; enjoy zero transaction fee and obtain 24/7 customer support.”

The launch of the Indian P2P platform has yet to be officially announced by Huobi with a release expected on its social media channels. However, the authenticity of the emailed message has been confirmed already by a spokesperson reached by Crypto News: “For OTC supports INR currency. Yes. It’s legit,” the representative is quoted as saying.

Peer-To-Peer Trading Expands After Ban, Before Regulation

Huobi’s announcement comes in difficult times for the Indian crypto community. In recent months, Indian companies and individuals working with cryptocurrencies had to deal with a bank crackdown that followed a ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank. The measure came into force on July 5, after the Supreme Court upheld it in a hearing on July 3, when it did not grant a stay before the compliance deadline, and then in another one on the 20th, when it did not overturn the ban. The final hearing on the matter was scheduled for September 11.

In April, the RBI ordered regulated financial institutions to quit providing services to entities and citizens dealing in cryptocurrency. The restrictions have since forced Indian crypto exchanges to suspend fiat transactions and offer crypto-to-crypto trading options. Comprehensive regulatory guidelines are expected in September, as news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier this week. A draft has been prepared already and consultations are underway to finalize the framework.

Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in India

Until the important decisions are made this fall, P2P platforms are offering a viable option for Indian traders who want to exchange cryptos with rupees. Cryptocurrency exchanges, Koinex and Wazirx, are already offering peer-to-peer trading services.

If Huobi fulfills its promise to Indian users, the launch of its P2P platform will become the latest in a series of moves aimed at expanding its global reach. Huobi’s plans include Europe, Asia, America, and Australia. In June, the Singapore-based exchange confirmed its intentions to open an office in London. In early July, the third largest crypto trading platform launched a platform in Australia with 10 pairs against the AUD. Huobi is also eyeing opportunities in Toronto, San Francisco, and São Paulo.

Do you trade cryptocurrencies on P2P exchanges? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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Huobi Launches Service to Build Crypto Exchanges in the Cloud

Huobi, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange platform by trade volume, is now offering a business arm to help customers build their own digital asset exchanges.

Dubbed the Huobi Cloud, the service is set up to provide clients “a one-stop solution … [to enable] its partners to build secure and stable digital asset exchanges quickly,” according to the official press release, though it did not provide specifics on what it will offer these partners.

The company goes on further to explain:

“Over the past five years, Huobi has accumulated rich and valuable [research and development], security, compliance and operational experience through its digital asset trading platforms … Huobi is looking to share its expertise and experience with the entire blockchain ecosystem and through this, develop the industry further to achieve mutual benefits for all stakeholders.”

As such, Huobi Cloud is envisioned to strike up new global partnerships in an attempt to “promote the rapid and healthy development” of the blockchain space worldwide.

The announcement comes a day after the exchange announced it was making efforts to deepen alliances within the industry through the establishment of the “Huobi Blockchain Plus Industry Alliance.”

The Alliance will focus on “community-based operations” to bring together experts and academics in the blockchain field to work together and leverage Huobi’s “ecological resources.”

These resources give members access to “jointly building blockchain labs with partners free of charge, sharing the research capability, technical capability and Blockchain Plus practical experience accumulated by Huobi Group over the past five years,” among others.

Indeed, the cryptocurrency exchange giant has been making efforts to build stronger networks for the blockchain industry in recent months. In June, after launching a new investment option for retail investors, Huobi revealed they would be facilitating an investment fund envisioned to raise $93 million for blockchain startups in both China and South Korea.

Huobi image via Piotr Swat / Shutterstock

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Huobi Strategic Partner HBUS Launches API for Large-Scale US Traders

HBUS, the U.S. “strategic partner” of Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, confirmed the release of its API for “experienced traders” in some U.S. states, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph.

HBUS highlighted that the API was geared to high-volume users who required live pricing data and other tools. In addition to price tracking, the API will also offer historical price data, support for margin trade customization support, setting buy and sell limits, and retrieving trade history.

Due to the difference in regulation across the U.S. HBUS noted that residents of Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington would be unable to use its services.

The move marks the latest in Huobi’s continued expansion this month, which in addition to launching HBUS has included the release of a separate platform geared to the Australian market.

Fellow Chinese operator OKEx and Hong Kong’s Binance have also recently made international commitments. Earlier this week, OKEx announced a partnership with the Malta Stock Exchange to create a new institutional grade security-tokens trading platform, and Binance revealed plans to back a decentralized, tokenized bank also in Malta.

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Huobi Launches Huobi Cloud for Establishing and Operating Digital Assets Exchanges

Huobi Group has announced the launch of a new platform, Huobi Cloud, that will allow users to build digital asset exchanges on top of Huobi’s existing platform.

According to a statement shared with Cointelegraph, more than ten multinational companies have already become partners with Huobi Cloud. The new product is aimed at establishing over-the-counter (OTC) and digital asset exchanges. Partners will also be able to use the order integration and wallet systems, as well as the asset management and clearing system of the Huobi Global platform. Leon Li, Chairman of Huobi Group, commented on the launch:

“In this era of significant and strong adoption of blockchain technologies, Huobi is looking to share its expertise and experience with the entire blockchain ecosystem and through this, develop the industry further to achieve mutual benefits for all stakeholders.”

According to the statement, Huobi Cloud comprises of four approaches, including exchange, OTC, operational, and eco-system solutions. The exchange solution supports exchange platform publishing, token-related services, hot and cold wallet separation, a risk-trigger mechanism, and other services. The OTC solution verifies the authenticity of the trading of fiat currencies like U.S. dollars, Hong Kong dollars, Chinese yuan, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT).

Founded in 2013, Huobi is currently the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trade volume, with offices in Singapore, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. At the end of June, the company partnered with JD Cloud, a subsidiary of China’s largest online retailer JD Group, to explore blockchain technology applications and cloud computing, focusing on financial services, Internet of Things (IoT), and supply chain fields.

In June, Huobi also announced the launch of its new public blockchain, the Huboi Chain Project (HCP). According to Huobi Group, the new platform will be used for “value exchange, fundraising, securitization and more.” With the release of HCP, Huobi also aims to decentralize its own operations.

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