Huobi Acquires BitTrade As It Looks To Penetrate Japanese Crypto Market

Huobi Japan Holding Ltd has acquired a majority stake in BitTrade, one of only 16 cryptocurrency exchanges approved by Japanese regulators.


Huobi, a leading crypto exchange recently taken public, has taken further steps to increase its global presence by entering the Japanese market after recently announcing it will enter the US market.

Huobi Japan Holding Ltd has acquired a majority stake in BitTrade, one of only 16 cryptocurrency exchanges approved by Japanese regulators.

Accordingly, the Singapore-based company says that it will “aggressively scale” the BitTrade trading platform, transforming it into one of the largest in the country. Furthermore, it will seek to expand the platform’s services to the global market.

The Japanese exchange announced the acquisition on September 12, stating that Huobi Global’s subsidiary in Japan had acquired a majority stake. BitTrade’s owner Eric Cheng initially acquired 100% stake in the exchange earlier this year in a $50 million agreement.

He commented on the partnership the Huobi subsidiary will help transform the platform into a high profile user-friendly solution that will be crucial in providing service to its international customers.

The partnership will also be instrumental in providing added professionalism and bolster the compliant services of both partners.

Huobi’s Chief Financial Officer Chris Lee expressed high optimism, calling the partnership a strategic success. He said that the companies’ synergy will be geared towards improving their services.

This will be done through continued efforts in R&D investments as well as regulatory compliance. And he believes that there are lots of positives that will come out of the partnership.

“Leveraging on BitTrade’s leadership team and its Japanese government-approved license, this is just the beginning.”

Huobi launched its services in China in 2013 but later relocated its headquarters to Singapore, a move seen as providing a better environment for crypto-related businesses.

The exchange is the third largest at the moment in terms of trade volume. Over the last few years, its management team has sought to expand its services to the international scene.

The strategy has been to partner with local companies in regions and countries it hopes to establish a presence. At the moment, the platform has operations in several countries, including Singapore, China, Canada, Korea, Australia, Brazil, Luxembourg, and the UAE.

In August, the platform announced that it would be launching its services via new exchanges in Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

Japan’s stringent Regulatory system

Japan is among several countries around the world that have cracked down on cryptocurrency exchanges since January.

The country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) started licensing crypto businesses in 2017, after the authorities’ decision to legalize cryptocurrency.

However, it suspended that process following the January attack on Coincheck, in which hackers stole NEM coins worth over $520 million. The program restarted recently but has seen a new approach with much tighter requirements.

The FSA insists that a service must be registered and approved before launching operations.

The head of Japan’s FSA Toshihide Endo, however, said last month that the regulator had no intention of excessively curbing the cryptocurrency industry. He added that the agency’s interest would be to encourage growth, but it would do so under “appropriate regulation”.

The country’s largest messaging app Line launched its own cryptocurrency token earlier this month and its Singapore-based exchange BitBox is one of many exchanges awaiting regulatory approval to offer its services in Japan.

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