Crypto exchange Huobi is entering the Japanese market by acquiring a majority stake in one of the 16 government-approved crypto exchanges in the country. The company says it plans to “aggressively scale this trading platform into the largest in Japan,” with an eye on global expansion in the future.
Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals
Huobi Entering Japanese Market
Huobi is expanding into the Japanese market by acquiring a majority stake in Bittrade, a Japanese government-approved crypto exchange.
Bittrade’s owner announced on Wednesday, September 12, that Huobi Global’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Huobi Japan Holding Ltd., “will take a majority stake” in the exchange. Speaking of his strategic partnership with Huobi, Singaporean entrepreneur Eric Cheng, who owns 100% of Bittrade, said:
The parties intend to aggressively scale this trading platform into the largest in Japan with the potential to extend its services globally.
Established in China in 2013, Huobi has since moved its headquarters to Singapore. The company now claims to have an accumulated trading volume of over US$1 trillion, with “millions of users” worldwide. “Geographically, Huobi has compliance teams in Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, the UAE, Luxembourg, and other countries around the world,” the company wrote.
In addition, Huobi has been expanding to other regions through partnerships with local companies. Last month, Huobi announced that it is launching crypto exchanges in the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Canada.
Bittrade Already an Approved Exchange in Japan
One of the biggest hurdles in entering the Japanese market right now is getting approval from the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Since Japan legalized cryptocurrency as a means of payment in April last year, all exchanges in the country are required to register with the FSA.
Last year, the agency approved 16 crypto exchanges. However, the approval rate has plummeted since the hack of Coincheck in January. The agency has since tightened its evaluation process of new exchanges. This has led to 13 of 16 quasi-exchanges to withdraw their applications. Bittrade is one of the 16 FSA-approved crypto exchanges.
Last week, Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten acquired Everybody’s Bitcoin, one of the three remaining quasi-exchanges, to fast-track into the Japanese crypto market.
Bittrade Previously Acquired by Singaporean Entrepreneur
In May, Cheng “acquired 100 percent stake in two Japanese licensed companies,” Singapore Business Review reported. “With the acquisition, Cheng, the CEO of Upper Joyful Ltd, will own [the] controlling stake in the two firms — FX Trade Financial Co Ltd (FX Trade) and its affiliate company, Bittrade Co Ltd.”
Cheng has been investing in high-growth opportunities and currently has investments in regions such as Australia, Mainland China, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, according to Wednesday’s announcement.
What do you think of Huobi entering the Japanese market? Do you think Huobi will succeed in becoming the largest exchange in Japan? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Huobi, and Bittrade.
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