The Huobi crypto exchange plans to increase its presence in Hong Kong, believing that the city’s pro-crypto tilt could signal an eventual relaxation of mainland China’s longstanding ban on digital assets.
The information was conveyed by Justin Sun, an advisor at Huobi, in an interview on Bloomberg TV. According to Sun, Hong Kong was one of several “experiment zones” for developing cryptocurrencies in China.
Hong Kong is reinventing itself as a crypto-friendly hub
The city, which retains an economic and administrative system separate from mainland China, changed its approach to cryptocurrencies late last year. The move enabled it to take advantage of its neighbor Singapore’s tightening crypto regulations to become the new digital assets hub in the region.
Hong Kong recently enacted a new licensing regime that will enable more cryptocurrency investors to set up shop in the city. And in preparation for an influx of crypto-related businesses, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) reportedly hired additional staff to help manage virtual asset service providers and their activities.
Such developments have made Hong Kong an ideal location for Huobi to grow its footprint while staying close to the China market.
The exchange hopes Hong Kong’s new stance on crypto could be a harbinger of China’s softening of its strict anti-crypto policies, which have made the potentially colossal market unavailable to digital asset businesses.
Sun is still bullish about crypto’s future
Sun, who also founded the TRON blockchain ecosystem, recently shared his bullish belief regarding the future of crypto in China.
In a tweet he posted on Jan. 29, the crypto entrepreneur said he would be positioning Huobi and TRON (TRX) to become mainstays in Hong Kong’s developing crypto market and, by extension, the Chinese crypto market.
Additionally, the Grenada diplomat said the Chinese crypto market was “on the rise.”
As per Sun, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Caribbean are Huobi’s main business markets.
However, with Beijing closely monitoring the policy changes in Hong Kong, it is still highly debatable whether Chinese authorities will eventually relax the country’s years-old ban on most crypto-related activities.
Media reports from last year alleged that Sun invested nearly $1 billion to acquire roughly 60% of Huobi, becoming its principal strategist.
The Chinese-born investor recently shared his vision of having TRX adopted as legal tender in at least five countries by the end of 2023, but it remains to be seen whether he will help crypto break the great wall of China.