Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) ahead of the launch of its US trading operations. Earlier this year, Huobi opened its first office in the United States in San Francisco, part of its planned entrance into the US market. The US-based Huobi operations are expected to operate initially as a crypto-to-crypto exchange, meaning that users will be able to exchange their cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies.
At present it doesn’t appear that Huobi’s operations will involve any fiat-to-crypto or crypto-to-fiat transactions. Huobi is still attempting to navigate the US regulatory arena, so registration with FINCEN as a money services business is just the first step in eventually launching a US-based exchange.
China-based Huobi has long been one of the world’s largest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges, and is currently the second-largest in the world. When the Chinese government forbade fiat-to-crypto trading activity in China, Huobi was forced to adjust its business model and strategy. Opening an operation in the United States is one facet of the company’s new strategy, and could provide a strong source of revenue and growth in the event that the Chinese government goes further with a cryptocurrency crackdown.
While Huobi’s operations aren’t useful at present to Bitcoin IRA investors, the company’s entrance into the US market could be the first step towards eventual expansion of operations. Huobi will still need to navigate the sea of financial regulations at both the federal and state levels, but if it eventually expands into fiat-to-crypto transactions it could challenge Coinbase for dominance within the United States and provide yet another source for Bitcoin investors to purchase their cryptocurrencies.
Competition in the Bitcoin arena is a good thing, as more companies doing business means more choice for consumers. It also means that the Bitcoin world is continuing to mature and gain in popularity, which will benefit all Bitcoin users.