Last September, Chinese financial watchdog, the People’s Bank of China issued an edict banning initial coin offerings (ICOs) and calling shut down of domestic fiat-to-crypto order book trading. Causing a massive crypto sell off globally. Chinese crypto exchanges, which were at some point the biggest in the world, saw a sharp drop in trading volume and some announced that they would be closing their doors for good. End of story right? Well, not quite.
Perhaps we can attribute it to sheer entrepreneurial zeal but two of Chinas biggest exchanges, Houbi and OKCoin live on. In fact, Houbi has since doubled is staff and set up offices in Hong Kong (technically not China), Singapore, South Korea, and the United States. Not only that, Houbi Group, the company behind Houbi Pro crypto exchange, has since doubled its staff to 400 strong.
Displaying a commitment to their cause, despite a tighter regulatory environment, Huobi is going forward with an aggressive expansion plan.
Through partnerships with Japan’s SBI Group and another partnership in South Korea, Huobi is working on getting its localized exchanges to be up and running by March 2018. The company’s San Francisco office is working on research and fostering blockchain startups. Huobi has also compliance experts on the payroll.
“Once we have fully understood the legal issue in the U.S., opening a new exchange remains to be the next phase of the plan,” said Robin Zhu, Houbi’s COO.
Houbi and OKcoin’s OKex have both shifted to crypto-only trading. Much like Binance, launched two months prior to the PBoC’s ruling by former top executives from OKCoin, Zhao Changpeng, and He Yi.
Chinese exchanges seem to have taken advantage of the hurdles thrown up by The People’s Bank of China and found ways to continue existing in spite of difficulties presented by the harsh regulations imposed by the PBoC. So much so that they’ve risen to rank within the top 10 among the world’s biggest exchanges. Indicating a return to fighting form.