Huobi wins license in the British Virgin Islands, no timeline for the UK yet

Major cryptocurrency exchange Huobi continues to expand its global footprint by entering the British Virgin Islands, a British Overseas Territory.

Huobi officially announced on Friday that it had secured an investment business license from the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of the British Virgin Islands. The approval allows Huobi to operate a virtual asset exchange under the subsidiary Brtuomi Worldwide Limited (BWL).

According to the announcement, BWL plans to offer a range of crypto trading services, including spot trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) as well as derivatives trading.

The company positions itself as the first digital asset trading platform operator in the British Virgin Islands licensed to run an institutional-grade crypto trading platform for both professional and retail investors.

“We believe that this license will have major implications for institutional investors, as it will make us the first exchange to provide compliant crypto derivative products and trading services in the territory,” Huobi Group chief financial officer Lily Zhang said, adding:

“Many institutional investors in the crypto industry operate out of the British Virgin Islands, so we think there’s a large market opportunity there.”

Zhang noted that Huobi also holds a distributed ledger technology license in the territory of Gibraltar. Huobi Group doesn’t have any specific timeline as to when services will expand to the rest of the United Kingdom, the chief financial office told Cointelegraph.

Apart from becoming an officially regulated entity in the British Virgin Islands alongside companies like Alameda Trust and Three Arrows Capital, BWL is also a member of the FSC’s financial innovation sandbox.

According to official FSC records, BWL is the second sandbox participant approved by the FSC alongside Structure Financial, a global trading platform facilitating crypto-based investing and lending. The regulator established the sandbox in 2020 with the aim of supporting innovation in the growing fintech sector and allowing businesses to trial new products and services.

Related: Huobi crypto exchange wins licenses in Dubai and New Zealand as Thai affiliate closes

“Going forward, we will work closely with the British Virgin Islands regulators to develop a suite of licensed trading products and services and foster the cryptocurrency industry’s growth in the territory,” Zhang stated.

The British Virgin Islands is one of the major global destinations for cryptocurrency-related firms. According to data from PwC’s fourth annual global crypto hedge fund report 2022, the British Virgin Islands overtook the United States as the second most popular location for crypto hedge funds.

In June, a court in the British Virgin Islands ordered the liquidation of Singapore-based venture capital firm Three Arrows Capital. The firm is registered by the FSC as a professional fund, according to official data.