Crypto Exchange Huobi Quietly Opens Office in Brazil and Starts Hiring

31.05.2018 bitcoinbabeau 0

Crypto Exchange Huobi Quietly Opens Office in Brazil and Starts Hiring

Huobi, the third largest crypto exchange by 24-hour trading volume, is reportedly setting up an office in Brazil. According to reports in Portal du Bitcoin, representatives of Huobi were seen distributing business cards during Bitconf, a major cryptocurrency conference held in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 5-6, 2018.

The Singapore-based exchange has yet to make an an official statement on the matter, but according to Portal du Bitcoin, which broke the news on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, Huobi has already opened an office in the coworking space WeWork in São Paulo. The company also has ads on LinkedIn looking for a Digital Marketing Manager and a Chief Compliance Officer to work out of São Paulo.

Originally founded in Beijing in 2013, Huobi was, at one time, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in China before the country placed an all-out ban on cryptocurrency trading in September 2017. Rather than shutter its business completely, Huobi began a major expansion effort, setting up offices in Singapore, South Korea and elsewhere.

Only weeks ago, Huobi announced plans to open its first Canadian office in Toronto, and earlier this year, despite regulatory uncertainty in the U.S., Huobi also revealed that it was opening a branch in San Francisco to offer crypto-to-crypto trading in the U.S. market.

The firm also attempted to make inroads into Japan. In December 2017, Huobi revealed it intended to launch a trading platform in Japan with Japan-based investment group SBI Holdings. But the deal was scrapped in March 2018 at a time when Japan’s regulators were stepping up oversight on cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

Now the exchange is headed to Brazil, as Huobi confirmed with CoinDesk. With a population of 210 million, Brazil is home to half the population of South America, representing a huge potential market for Huobi. Meanwhile, competition in the country is sparse. Currently, the biggest crypto exchanges in Brazil include Foxbit, BitcoinTrade and Mercado Bitcoin, which all trade in relatively small volumes compared to Huobi.

And, as far as cryptocurrency regulation goes, Brazil is still a “Wild West.” In December 2017, the country’s central bank and securities regulator went so far as to issue a joint warning to investors that virtual currencies had no official oversight in the country.

Cryptocurrency trading is a lucrative market, and Huobi is not the only major exchange on the move after the Chinese crackdown. In the past few months, Binance and OKEx separately announced plans to expand to the crypto-friendly island nation of Malta. Early this year, Bitfinex said it was planning to set up operations in Switzerland.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bittrex Lands Bank Agreement to Help Customers Buy Bitcoin With Dollars

31.05.2018 bitcoinbabeau 0

Bittrex Gets Bank Agreement to Help Customers Buy Bitcoin With Dollars

Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Inc. has established a formal agreement with Signature Bank in New York to allow corporate clients in specific states to purchase virtual tokens using USD. The move is designed to increase the amount of institutional capital making its way through the crypto space.

Chief executive officer of Bittrex Bill Shihara says the exchange has been working on this partnership for months. “It’s been a long path,” he commented. “It’s not just about banks being able to trust Bittrex; it’s about banks being able to trust crypto in general, and I think it’s really showing that crypto is turning the corner in terms of mainstream acceptance.”

Due to regulatory uncertainty surrounding virtual currencies, many established financial institutions continue to associate them with money laundering and related criminal activity, and have chosen to avoid them altogether. Last February, for example, customers who tried to purchase digital currency through Citigroup were treated to serious delays and cancelled transactions after the investment firm made the decision to bar users from buying crypto using their debit cards or checking accounts.

This decision was later replicated by establishments like Chase and Bank of America, both of which implemented bans preventing customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies on major exchanges. Thus, many virtual currency marketplaces still only allow customers to trade between digital assets, rather than dollar for crypto or vice versa.

However, some banks are beginning to show signs of change in both attitude and business protocol, and have become more welcoming of cryptocurrencies. Popular digital currency exchange Coinbase has recently developed partnerships with Cross River Bank, Metropolitan Bank and Silvergate Bank in the United States. The company has even garnered a Barclays PLC bank account in the United Kingdom.

Noble Bank International in San Juan, Puerto Rico, also took over banking duties for Bitfinex in 2017 after the exchange’s relationship with Wells Fargo came to a sudden end.

Discussing the needs of traditional banks, Shihara went on to say, “They really do look and pour through the entire business. They want to make sure we’ve got robust AML/KYC processes and that we’ve got the right controls on our finances. They do background checks and everything. They really look at our business soup to nuts.”

Bittrex, which boasts roughly 3 million customers around the world, allows users to trade up to 200 different digital coins. Fiat trading capabilities will also be launched May 31, 2018, for bitcoin, Tether and TrueUSD. At press time, the service is only available to corporate clients in New York, California, Washington and Montana, though executives say they are working to expand this capability to retail investors once regulations are more defined.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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