Singapore-based Huobi now holds rank as the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange – far from a meagre title in the booming crypto-business.
However, recent exploits would suggest it’s not content to stay in third place. Given the opportunity to speak to the company in the flesh at Blockchain Expo Europe in Amsterdam The Block relished the chance to talk about recent developments, aggressive expansion plans, and Huobi’s take on recent exchange heists in South Korea.
Last month saw Huobi take a “big step”, said Charlie Tsai, the exchange’s chief strategy officer. Financial data monitoring service Bloomberg Terminal listed Huobi’s 10 Index which, designed by the group itself, calculates the performance of the top ten cryptocurrencies traded on its exchange.
What that means for Huobi, said Tsai, is that it has become more connected to the regular financial world, and while for Huobi that’s great for business, it’s also a boon for crypto’s integration in the mainstream world of finance.
“It means institutional and regular investors are really focusing on this crypto asset, and it means we want to prove that Huobi can provide public and transparent information to the financial world,” said Tsai.
But it’s been a busy few months for the exchange in more ways than one, and looking back, Tsai says the exchange’s expansion had been “two-dimensional”, with a volley of new-office land grabs across the globe backed by major extensions to services and capabilities.
“We expanded geographically to the US, to Australia, Canada, Brazil, and UK as well, and of course, South Asia, Thailand, Korea and Japan,” said Tsai.
“The other dimension is that we built on top of the exchange; we have Huobi capital focusing on investment, we have our Huobi Lab, Huobi Ecosystem, Huobi Research, Huobi News and Huobi mining services.”
However, the main news for Tsai is that of Huobi Chain Project (HCP), a public blockchain the company has backed by an initial investment worth some $100m (£76m), that’s currently undergoing a 21-month programme to determine its lead developer.
This will eventually become an open-source blockchain used for “value exchange, fundraising, securitisation, and more”, with Huobi itself set to eventually transition to the HCP when launched.
On turning to crypto community to build this, Tsai said, “We believe the driving force shouldn’t just come from one company, we believe it should come from the excellent people in our community and the world’s talent.”
For the full interview, which includes Tsai’s take on recent cryptocurrency exchange hacks and whether it’s affected investor confidence, watch the video below.