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Huobi Founder Sells Bitcoin Exchange to Hong Kong Investment Firm

The deal has “no impact” on Huobi’s core business, the company said.

2 min read
Huobi is a crypto exchange based in the Seychelles. Image: Shutterstock.

Leon Li Lin, the Chinese founder of Seychelles-based crypto exchange Huobi Global, is selling his controlling stake to a Hong Kong investment firm called About Capital, according to a blog post today on Huobi’s website. 

According to the post, an agreement has been reached between both parties that will leave “no impact on Huobi’s core operation and business management teams.” 

About Capital says in Huobi's blog post that under its control, Huobi “will embrace a series of new international brand promotion and business expansion initiatives including a global strategic advisory board led by leading industry figures, the injection of sufficient capital in margin and risk provision fund, as well as measures to further enhance competitiveness.” 

Huobi's recent history of compliance-focused changes

Huobi shuttered its U.S. operations back in late 2019 and hasn't reopened since. It shut its operations in China in 2021 shortly after a sweeping state-wide crackdown on cryptocurrencies by Chinese authorities forced the exchange to stop registering accounts with mainland Chinese phone numbers and halt trading derivatives in China in order to remain compliant. 

In August, reports first emerged that Li Lin was looking to sell his majority stake in Huobi and that FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and Tron CEO Justin Sun were reportedly having “preliminary talks” with him. Bankman-Fried later clarified on Twitter that FTX was not planning to acquire it. 

A week after rumors of the possible acquisitions first broke, Huobi’s cash-backed stablecoin HUSD mysteriously slipped its $1 USD peg by almost 15% before regaining the peg the next day. Token issuer Stable Universal blamed a “time difference in banking hours” that “resulted in a short term liquidity problem.”

And earlier this month, Huobi delisted seven privacy coins citing “latest financial regulations.” 

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