Many Americans haven’t yet heard much about Huobi, a Hong-Kong-based crypto company of note for international investors, but worldwide, it has started to dominate in some exchange communities.
Brand-new reports today show that Huobi is opening up a US-based office in San Francisco under a new business name, HBUS Holdco, Inc., in order to promote what CoinDesk writer Leigh Cuen calls “Wall Street partnerships.”
“Huobi’s new global asset flows could indirectly give Chinese traders the ability to convert yuan for cryptocurrency through Huobi Global’s OTC desk, then send the cryptocurrency to the U.S.-based exchange to cash out in USD,” Cuen wrote today, describing some of the complexities arising from trade across the Atlantic through this unique Asian/US connection. “Lester Li, Huobi Global’s head of London operations, told CoinDesk he estimates between 50 and 200 of the global platform’s institutional clients are companies run by Chinese founders but based abroad in order to avoid China’s stringent compliance standards and capital controls.”
Reporting on this new development also show how Huobi is, for the first time, moving beyond just offering crypto trading pairs. By putting “fiat-crypto” transaction support in place, including support for trading U.S. dollars, the company is joining the quickly growing ranks of trading operators who are realizing that American consumers might want to get on board the cryptocurrency wagon in the easiest way possible – by simply purchasing bits of Bitcoin (or some other coin) with U.S. dollars.
Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported on the widespread emergence of Bitcoin ATMs in the United States. In cities like Chicago and Philadelphia, it’s already common to see kiosks in local restaurants and public places offering the ability to buy Bitcoin with U.S. currency.
While some might be forgiven for supposing that Huobi had another reason to open up a whole new US-based company in order to branch out in the U.S., it may be just a pure market play. In any case, it’s news for Americans who want to promote Bitcoin or other coins as the transaction method of the future. Whether Bitcoin reaches a “critical mass” this year in consumer settings may well determine whether a big rise in BTC value bails out traders who are stuck with devalued Bitcoin holdings.