Crypto Exchange Huobi Registers With FinCEN Ahead of US Launch
Huobi's U.S.-based operation has registered with the U.S. government as a money services business ahead of a planned rollout of crypto-to-crypto trading this spring.
HBUS Inc. is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as of Mar. 21, according to the U.S. regulator's database. Huobi revealed in January that it was opening an office in San Francisco to serve as the hub for its planned push into the American market.
Li Lin, the chief executive and founder of Huobi Group, confirmed the plan for a May launch through a WeChat announcement, anticipating a new crypto-only exchange platform specifically for U.S. investors that will be separate from Huobi's existing crypto-to-crypto platform, Huobi Pro.
Huobi's chief operation office Robin Zhu told CoinDesk earlier this year that a U.S. exchange is a major plank in its expansion steps - provided that the related regulatory issues are resolved. Indeed, the FinCEN registration marks the latest growth-focused move by the company following Chinese government's clampdown last year.
Yet Li admitted in his statement that registering with the U.S. financial watchdog doesn't resolve all of the possible regulatory issues that come with operating within the U.S.
"The issue is, currently there is no clear regulatory requirement for crypto-to-crypto trading platforms from the U.S. at the federal level. Other platforms like Poloniex also operate in a similar way with registration as a money service business," Li said, referring to the U.S.-based exchange that was recently acquired by Circle.
Li also said that he believes the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could weigh in on the issue of crypto-to-crypto trading in the U.S., adding that Huobi would comply with that guidance.