Huobi halts US operations; customers should remove funds as soon as possible

Huobi halts US operations; customers should remove funds asap

The United States is still having a difficult time determining whether it wants to embrace cryptocurrencies, and how. Individual states have started to make progress toward a regulated crypto industry, but even these are having difficulty and, absent a federal framework, are not able to advance as well as they would like. The uncertainty of what the future may hold for digital currencies in the U.S. has already forced a lot of FinTech companies to seek more stable environments in other countries and another exchange is throwing in the towel. Huobi subsidiary HBUS has confirmed that it is halting all operations in the country.

Singapore-based Huobi first announced at the beginning of November that it would be halting operations for U.S. customers. It said at the time that accounts would be disabled and frozen by the middle of the month, but it was able to keep things afloat a little longer. The day for the exchange to close up, though, has finally come. 

In a notice on the company’s website, Huobi explains, “We regret to inform you that HBUS will need to cease operations so that it can return in a more integrated and impactful fashion as part of its ongoing strategic layout. Our trading services will not be available starting December 15, 2019, 20:30 PT/23:30 ET. Customers will continue to be able to access their accounts to withdraw funds until January 31, 2020, 20:00 PT/23:00 ET.”

HBUS made it a little more than a year and a half before being forced to call it quits. The company was registered as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), but this wasn’t enough to allow it to prosper in the highly tenuous and unstable environment in the U.S. 

Huobi itself has been able to succeed better elsewhere. It is continually expanding its operations, and announced last week that it is joining a large blockchain alliance initiative begun by the Chinese government. It is also opening new exchanges around the world, most recently receiving approval to launch operations in Argentina. 

This came only months after having been given the green light to expand into Thailand and Turkey. According to CoinMarketCap, Huobi Global is the fourth highest crypto exchange, in terms of liquidity, with over $626 million in trading volume seen in the past 24 hours. Its liquidity stands at $48.89 million and the exchange is found in 545 different markets. 

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