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Huobi launches ‘localized’ crypto-exchange for Malaysia’s locals

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According to a press release received by AMBCrypto, an independent trading platform licensed under the Huobi brand, Huobi Labuan, a localized crypto-exchange for the Malaysian market, is launching with fully regulated trading services for both spot and derivatives markets. The launch of such trading services comes shortly after Huobi Labuan received a digital asset trading brokerage service license from Malaysian authorities in September 2020. 

Huobi Labuan will be providing trading services in Malaysia as a local operating partner of Huobi Cloud, a solutions partner that allows its vetted partners to launch cryptocurrency exchanges leveraging Huobi’s existing infrastructure.

According to the aforementioned document, Huobi Labuan received a license from the Labuan Financial Services Authority (LFSA). The platform’s brokerage license allows the platform to offer users spot and derivatives trading services in Malaysia starting with a nine-month trial operation. The exchange currently supports crypto-assets like BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, EOS, and HT, with the platform revealing that it will list more assets after the end of the trial operation period. 

After announcing its arrival in Labuan, Malaysia, Huobi said that it would “actively cooperate” with local authorities to further expand and improve the application scenarios of blockchain and digital assets, in light of the Malaysian government allowing Bitcoin mining and trading without any restrictions.

In fact, back in October, the Securities Commission of Malaysia had issued revised guidelines governing digital assets in order to regulate IEOs and digital asset custodians. The intent behind the same was to manage emerging risks and safeguard the interests of issuers and investors.

The timing of the said development is interesting since it came on the back of rumors about a Huobi exec’s arrest and other speculations regarding huge USDT deposits and BTC withdrawals, earlier this month. In fact, Bitcoin advocate ‘Boxmining’ had even correlated the rumors swirling from Huobi to the dip in BTC prices then.

At the time, the Singapore-based firm had assured its users and said that Huobi was “operating normally.” Meanwhile, local media also fueled rumors claiming that a Huobi executive was indeed arrested on 2 November, following which Huobi specifically denied any reports of its employees being arrested.

Whilst Huobi may have put an end to these speculations, the firm has not mentioned anything specific about Huobi receiving funds from criminal entities. This is intriguing because a previous study by Chainalysis had concluded that Binance and Huobi were among the two exchanges to have received the most funds (around $1.4 billion in Bitcoin) from criminal entities in 2019.

The study in question had also speculated on the probability that one of these two exchanges was connected to the case of cryptocurrencies stolen by the Lazarus Group, a North Korea-affiliated hacker group.

However, that did not stop Huobi’s market expansion plans as it went on to release a native crypto-trading mobile app for the Russian market, even after the country announced a strict regulatory framework around cryptocurrencies. 


Alisha is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Her interests lie in blockchain technology, crypto-crimes, and market developments in Africa and the United States
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