Chinese Crypto Exchange Huobi to Open First U.S. Office

The leading cryptocurrency exchange in China, Huobi, is to open its first office in the U.S., with San Francisco announced as the destination for its first venture stateside.

According to remarks made by Cai Kailong, the company’s chief strategy officer, at the U.S.-China Blockchain Connect event this week, he had attended the new office earlier in the month to help get set up. Describing the move as part of an international focus for expansion, Kailong said that the “U.S. will be our focus right now.”

The move confirms the ambitious expansion plans for the company, which has grown to be China’s foremost cryptocurrency exchange since its launch in 2013.

Representatives from the company have confirmed Kailong’s remarks, offering limited details about the company’s venture, save for its base in Silicon Valley.

The move comes in the wake of increasing pressure on exchanges in China, including measures that effectively prevented Huobi and other exchanges from offering crypto-yuan pairs. As a result, the company notably shifted its approach to focus on international markets, and to increase the availability of its crypto-crypto trading pairs.

The news comes at a time of rapid expansion for the company, which just announced a similar move into the Japanese market last month, thanks to a partnership with SBI Group to offer yen-based trading pairs.

The new U.S. office only continues the rollout in international markets, which Huobi now considers pivotal to its success in light of the current Chinese restrictions.

It also builds on plans announced from the exchange over the last fortnight, where they unveiled plans for their own token, albeit without the customary ICO.

According to the details of the launch release, the so-called HT token is not an ICO but an active utility token for investors.

“HT is not an initial coin offering (ICO). Users can only get HT by purchasing ‘Point Card’ on Huobi Pro. Point Card is Huobi’s prepaid card for basic service charge. 1 point = 1 USDT. Huobi Tokens (HT) can be exchanged to USDT, BTC and ETH in Huobi Pro.

“Each quarter, Huobi Pro will use 20% of its profits to buy back the Huobi Tokens in the open market. All the HT that were bought back will be allocated to Huobi Investor Protection Fund (HIPF) in a certain proportion.”