Crypto Exchange Huobi Global to Move Spot Trading Services to Gibraltar

The exchange believes that operating under a licensed entity will appeal to institutional investors.

AccessTimeIconNov 8, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:06 p.m. UTC
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Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global will move its spot trading services to Gibraltar, after receiving approval from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) to begin the transition, the exchange said in a press release shared with CoinDesk.

  • The exchange, which was founded in China and received a Gibraltar operating license in 2018, is likely looking for a new home away from Chinese regulators. Huobi moved significant portions of its operations to Singapore when Chinese regulators launched a renewed crackdown on crypto trading on Sept. 24, CoinDesk reported. It later announced it would expel its Chinese users.
  • The exchange will be migrating its existing spot trading users, tech infrastructure and cloud hosting to a licensed entity in Gibraltar, a Huobi spokesperson told CoinDesk via email.
  • Huobi currently has “no plans to move the majority of its operations” to the territory, but might add staff to Gibraltar operations “depending on how the [user] migration goes,” the spokesperson said.
  • Huobi will serve global customers from its Gibraltar base, the spokesperson said. The company claims to be pursuing a “decentralized” global structure with no particular headquarters.
  • A Huobi subsidiary, Huobi Technology (Gibraltar) Co. Ltd., received a distributed ledger technology license (DLT) from the GFSC, which allows the company to use DLT technology to store or transmit value belonging to others, the press release said.
  • In addition to these services, Huobi Gibraltar is also allowed to “operate a secondary market venue for trading virtual assets” and provide brokerage services, according to the GFSC registry.
  • This is the first time Huobi Global will move its spot trading services to a regulated entity, the press release said. The exchange believes that operating under a licensed entity will appeal to institutional investors, according to the release.
  • The Gibraltar entity was previously a crypto brokerage for institutional investors and high net worth individuals, and also provided retail over-the-counter trading services, according to the press release. It was incorporated in 2017, according to the GFSC registry.
  • Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southernmost tip of the Iberian peninsula, where Spain and Portugal are located.
  • Huobi co-founder Du Jun told the Financial Times on Monday that 30% of the exchange’s revenue comes from China.
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  • UPDATE (Nov. 8, 16:09 UTC): Adds date of license grant in first bullet point, clarifies permit in first paragraph.



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    Eliza Gkritsi

    Eliza Gkritsi is a CoinDesk contributor focused on the intersection of crypto and AI.


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