Monday, December 5 2022

One of the world’s largest exchanges is heading to the Middle East, a region that has become the world’s fastest growing blockchain and digital asset hub. Huobi has obtained a license from one of Dubai’s special economic zones, but it will not yet be able to offer digital asset trading services.

As the Seychelles-based exchange revealed, it had obtained the innovation license under the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), a special economic zone in the United Arab Emirates. Its first regulatory nod in the UAE, the license is not a business license and does not yet allow Huobi to engage in its core business.

On the contrary, the innovation license serves as a launchpad for relevant and cutting-edge technology and allows the exchange to exploit technological innovations in the MESA region. Huobi can now establish, grow and grow its innovative business as well as connect to a diverse community of banks and financial institutions.

This is just the beginning, and the exchange intends to obtain a virtual assets MVP license from the city’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority. This license would allow Huobi to offer the service it has become known for: digital asset trading.

“We don’t have any other licenses in Dubai. We have a small office there that caters to some key accounts and institutional clients in the Middle East region. However, we are seeking provisional approval for a virtual asset MVP license from VARA Dubai,” Huobi Chief Financial Officer Lily Zhang said, speaking to industry media.

Along with the Dubai license, the exchange also disclosed that it has been registered by the Financial Services Providers Registry (FSPR) in New Zealand. The registration, which Huobi sees as the first critical step in its expansion into the country, enables it to offer OTC trading and asset management services.

“In New Zealand, cryptocurrencies themselves are not considered legal tender, but regulators treat cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and other businesses offering investment opportunities as they do with other financial service providers,” Zhang said.

And as it expands its presence in the Middle East and Oceania, Huobi recently announced that it will be closing shop in Thailand. As CoinGeek reported, Huobi Thailand is closing in a week. The exchange, however, mentioned that the operation was an independent subsidiary that it had created with a local partner and had no bearing on global operations.

Elsewhere, Huobi Japan recently announced that it has listed BSV, providing the vast Japanese market with an easy, regulated and convenient platform to buy real Bitcoin.

Watch: BSV Global Blockchain Convention Panel, The Future of Digital Asset Trading and Investing

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