Huobi not regulated Seychelles
Cryptocurrencies,  Regulation

Where in the world is Huobi?

The Seychelles financial regulator warned that a company that ‘appears to be affiliated’ with crypto exchange Huobi Global is not licensed in its jurisdiction

The Seychelles Financial Services Authority issued a warning on March 9 that a company that “appears to be affiliated” with major cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global is not registered in its jurisdiction.

China’s top crypto exchange has a good reputation, but concerns arose late last year after Chinese media reported on Nov. 17 that Huobi’s attempt to buy Japan’s largest exchange, Bitflyer, and Korea’s largest exchange, Bithumb, was halted over an investigation into founder Leon Li—although no details were forthcoming. Two days later, it was announced that Huobi co-founder Du Jun had returned to the company after a three-year absence to concentrate on other projects.

Working on information it said is in the public domain, the Seychelles FSA announced that International Business Company  “Huobi Global Limited appears to be affiliated with the online trading platform for virtual assets called ‘Huobi Global’ and operates through the website”

The regulator then said it “hereby informs the public that the aforementioned IBC does not hold any licence [SIC] issued by the FSA to undertake such type of activity” and “is not being regulated by the FSA nor has it been in the past.”

Huobi’s Legal Statement says it provides digital asset transaction and asset management services “to the greatest extent possible without violating relevant laws and regulations of the Republic of Seychelles.”

It ends by noting that when anything in the Legal Statement “conflicts with any of the relevant laws and regulations of the Republic of Seychelles, the latter shall prevail.”

Huobi didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In Huobi’s Nov. 19 release about the return of Du Jun, he stressed the importance of safety of user assets and its focus on compliance, pointing to licenses from Thailand, Japan, Gibraltar, and several from various Hong Kong agencies. It added that it was in the process of applying for several others.

Jun was quoted as saying: “Continuously, we are pushing forward the global compliance process.”

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Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus editor-in-chief, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about incentive travel. He has also covered consumer and employee engagement, small business, the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson has put some 401k money into Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.