Hands holding mobile with Huobi Global app running at smartphone screen, trading candlestick chart at background. Huobi - cryptocurrency exchange, trading platform

Huobi Global plans to set up new headquarters in the Caribbean—here’s why

Digital asset exchange Huobi Global is reportedly inching towards relocating from Seychelles to a country in the Caribbean as its new headquarters, the Financial Times reported.

According to the news outlet, the digital asset service provider is set “to go all in in the Caribbean” and cited the region’s friendly stance towards virtual currency as the driving force behind the decision. However, it is unclear which of the Caribbean countries will play host to Huobi Global.

The Dominican Republic is in a pole position to be chosen as the firm’s new headquarters, while Panama and the Bahamas are equally jostling to attract the global exchange, according to FT. It is believed that the Dominican Republic could clinch the title based on an earlier meeting between the country’s Prime Minister and a Huobi representative, in which both parties pledged to improve digital asset adoption.

Huobi had some challenges with regulators worldwide, and the historic rough patches are fuelling the move to the Caribbean. China’s blanket ban on digital assets forced Huobi out of the country, losing millions of customers to the new regulatory regime.

Since then, Huobi has tried to make new forays in different jurisdictions like South Korea and the United States, but it faces an uphill task competing with rivals with an already established global presence. Huobi will still maintain a presence in Seychelles but plans to relocate at least 200 employees to the new Caribbean headquarters.

Aside from the trouble with regulators, Huobi has had to endure swirling rumors that it was going through a financial crisis and was considering laying off staff. The company’s spokesperson denied the claims and added that the company is currently enjoying “a healthy cash flow.”

The allure of the Caribbean

The Caribbean islands are garnering a reputation for being the destination of top digital asset firms, stealing the spot of Southeast Asia. FTX, the Sam Bankman-Fried led exchange, set up shop in the Bahamas in a move that signaled a major interest by Web 3 firms to the region.

Since the historic move, Binance, PrimeBit, and C-Trade have all established local exchanges in the region. The Caribbean has a long history of being a tourist hotspot, and pivoting towards friendly digital asset legislation is bound to attract firms fleeing tough tax policies.

The region has also taken the lead in developing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), with the Bahamas launching the Sand Dollar in a pioneering move.

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