Huobi Japan raises $4.6M to fund expansion

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced on Friday that they raised ¥500 million ($4.6 million) in a new round of equity funding. In their announcement, Huobi Japan explained that they have issued “new shares” to FPG Corporation, a Japanese financial services group, which raised ¥499,968,000.

Huobi Japan is a subsidiary of the Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi which serves more than 130 countries across the globe. The platform was launched in January after merging with BitTrade. At the time, they were one of just 16 crypto exchanges that had secured a license from the Japanese financial regulator, FSA.

Huobi has been actively looking to expand for quite some time. They have been opening offices across the globe since May 2018, starting with expanding into Canada. Since then, they have increased their markets to places such as Brazil, the United States, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. In October, they even opened offices in Turkey.

Because of its receptiveness to cryptocurrencies, Japan has long been viewed as an appealing target for Huobi. This was the primary reason for acquiring BitTrade in September 2018. The company entered the market in Japan vowing that they would “aggressively scale up the platform.”

There were some hiccups along the way until Huobi Japan became a fully regulated exchange in January 2019. They faced some additional scrutiny from the FSA, but those hurdles seem to have been overcome as the company moves forward.

With this new influx of cash, Huobi Japan is expected to implement their strategy to “contribute to the digitalization of the Japanese securities market by integrating the company’s professional financial business know-how with our security-focused blockchain technology to provide new financial assets and payment methods.”

The Huobi Group was founded in 2013. Operations originally began in China, but a crackdown on exchanges offering a crypto-fiat exchange in September 2017 led the company to pack up and leave Beijing, headed for Singapore. That has been their headquarters ever since.

While the Huobi Group was forced to leave two years ago, they may find China to be more amenable very soon. Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping praised the use of blockchain technology and has pushed for plans within the country to make China the dominant blockchain country on the planet. This kind of news could lead the group to return to mainland China.

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