Huobi Japan Holding Ltd. has acquired a majority stake in Japanese cryptocurrency exchange BitTrade, marking the top-three exchange’s formal entry into the Japanese market.
BitTrade, which is one of the 16 government-approved crypto exchanges in the country, announced the news yesterday, September 12, 2018.
Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) began issuing exchange operating licenses in 2017, but in light of the Coincheck hack in January 2018, the approval rate has plummeted as the agency has tightened its requirements.
Huobi Japan, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Huobi Global, plans to "aggressively scale up the platform" in partnership with the management team of BitTrade. The subsidiary will work on making the platform user-friendly for its international customers, while providing more professional and compliant services as well.
Huobi CFO Chris Lee hailed the partnership as a strategic success, saying the companies’ synergy will strive toward improvement “through continued investment into R&D and compliance.”
“Leveraging on BitTrade's leadership team and its Japanese government-approved license, this is just the beginning,” he added.
Huobi, currently ranked the third largest crypto exchange in the world by trade volume, has shown an inclination toward expanding into new regions through partnerships with local companies. The exchange currently operates in Singapore, Korea, Canada, Australia, the UAE, Luxembourg, Brazil and others.
BitTrade's owner Eric Cheng, a Singaporean millionaire who acquired a 100 percent stake in BitTrade Co. Ltd. for $50 million earlier this year, said both parties would scale the platform into the "largest in Japan with the potential to extend its services globally."
He went on further to state:
“Together, we will leverage on Huobi's global footprint, excellent management team, and advanced security systems to grow BitTrade into a market-leading position in Japan. Having a long-term partnership with an established brand such as Huobi is the right step for BitTrade as we look to continue our rapid growth trajectory."