Justin Sun 'Optimistic’ About Crypto’s Return to China, Addresses Huobi Acquisition

The Tron founder joined “First Mover” to discuss his role on Huobi’s advisory board and why he’s hopeful the crypto exchange will someday be allowed back into mainland China.

AccessTimeIconOct 11, 2022 at 6:23 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:59 a.m. UTC
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Justin Sun, the founder of Tron blockchain network, isn’t ruling out the possibility of one day acquiring Hong Kong-based crypto exchange Huobi Global and perhaps even bringing the exchange back to mainland China.

Sun, who is one of five advisers on Huobi’s global advisory board, told CoinDesk TV this hypothetical situation will depend on the Chinese government changing its stance on cryptocurrencies, and would require “thorough due diligence of the exchange.”

“In the future we might have a chance to purchase Huobi, but not this time,” Sun said during an appearance on “First Mover” on Tuesday. He spoke days after Hong Kong-based About Capital announced plans to buy Huobi, a major crypto exchange throughout Asia.

In August, Huobi’s founder Leon Li said he was looking to sell a majority of his stake in the exchange for upwards of $3 billion, Bloomberg reported. FTX founder Sam-Bankman Fried reportedly expressed interest but nothing came of it.

No matter who owns Huobi, its China plans would depend on a change in thinking by the nation's leaders. In September 2021, China’s regulators banned crypto trading, pushing a majority of crypto exchanges, including Huobi, out of the country. It wasn’t the first time the country has banned crypto.

Still, even after China’s latest ban all but wiped out legitimate bitcoin mining in the country, Sun remains “optimistic” about cryptocurrency in China. Crypto, he said, is a “world trend” that cannot be isolated.

“That’s why China [will] definitely be one of the most stronger (sic) players in the blockchain industry,” Sun said, “even [if] we might have some setback or regulation hurdle in the short term. In the long term, I’m highly optimistic.”

While no formal plan exists, Sun said there is “definitely” a possibility Huobi would be “willing to expand the business in China” if the nation allows crypto trading again. The firm already has a footprint across Asia and, Sun said, may make its way to Europe and South America.

But in order for Huobi to compete on a global scale, Sun said the exchange needs traction on its U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin, HUSD. Sun said one of his focus areas will be making USDD, the algorithmic stablecoin he created, one of the “settlement stablecoins” on Huobi.

“In the next three months, we probably will list all the cryptocurrencies against USDD on Huobi,” Sun said.


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.