HBUS, the US-focused partner exchange of Huobi, will cease operations on December 15 after less than 18 months in business amidst strong competition among crypto exchanges in the US.
HBUS has said it is no longer accepting deposits and while all other services will cease on December 15, customers have until January 31 to withdraw their remaining assets. The announcement comes just a month after Huobi announced that it will freeze all US accounts on its main Singapore-based exchange and push them to HBUS in order to be regulatory compliant.
A blog post from Huobi over the weekend read as follows: “Dear Customer, we regret to inform you that HBUS will need to cease operations so that it can return in a more integrated and impactful fashion as part of its ongoing strategic layout.” The exchange had been rattled in recent weeks by a number of key departures, including Oren Blonstein, who took over the CEO position in September but left the company in December. The previous CEO was Frank Fu, who is now a managing director at Fenbushi Capital.
The most significant factor in Huobi’s US departure was the increased competition in the area of crypto exchanges. With Binance.US making forward strides and the recent launch of Bakkt bringing in more institutional investors to the world of crypto, Huobi had struggled to generate any serious trading volume. Current volumes have dropped to around $220,000 USD per day, a rock-bottom level more suited to a small-scale exchange. HBUS trading for altcoins had dropped to almost non-existent levels, and it did not even have a significant Bitcoin (BTC) market.
The decision by Huobi to end US operations could be good news for the likes of Binance.US and Bakkt. Binance’s American arm only launched in September but already carries nearly $3 million USD in volumes while Bakkt has just rolled out its cash-settled futures and is picking up in volume after a slow start to life.
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