Huobi targets Middle East with new Dubai license


One of the world’s largest exchanges is pushing into the Middle East, a region that has emerged as the world’s fastest-growing blockchain and digital assets hub. Huobi has received a license from one of Dubai’s Special Economic Zones, but cannot yet offer digital asset trading services.

As the Seychelles-based exchange announced, it had received the innovation license from the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), a special economic zone in the United Arab Emirates. The first regulatory allusion in the UAE, the license is not a commercial license and does not yet allow Huobi to engage in its core business.

Rather, the innovation license serves as a launch pad for relevant and cutting-edge technologies, enabling exchanges to capitalize on technical innovations across the MESA region. Huobi can now build, grow and expand its innovative business and connect with a diversified community of banks and financial institutions.

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

“We have no other licenses in Dubai. We have a small office there that serves a few large and institutional clients in the Middle East. However, we are applying for preliminary approval for an MVP license for virtual assets from the Dubai VARA,” Lily Zhang, Huobi CFO, told an industry representative.

Alongside the Dubai license, the exchange also announced that it has been registered by the Financial Services Provider Register (FSPR) in New Zealand. The registration, which Huobi sees as the first crucial step in its expansion in the country, will enable it to offer over-the-counter trading and wealth management services.

“In New Zealand, cryptocurrencies themselves are not considered legal tender, but regulators treat cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and other companies offering investment opportunities similarly to other financial service providers,” Zhang explained.

And as Huobi expands its presence in the Middle East and Oceania, Huobi recently announced that it will be closing its store in Thailand. As CoinGeek reported, Huobi Thailand will be closed in a week. However, the exchange mentioned that the company was an independent subsidiary that it set up with a local partner and had no influence on global operations.

Elsewhere, Huobi Japan recently announced that it had listed BSV, giving the huge Japanese market a simple, regulated, and convenient platform to buy real bitcoin.

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