Huobi announced the plans in a tweet titled “HBUS Cease to Operate”:
“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. Please refer to our FAQ and contact [email protected]”
HBUS Cease to Operate: 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. Please refer to our FAQ and contact [email protected]
— Huobi US (@Huobi_US) December 9, 2019
Trading services at HBUS will cease December 15th and customers may withdraw funds until Jan 31, 2020.
HBUS, which maintains offices in San Francisco, launched the platform in July 2018. One month ago, Huobi suspended the accounts of US-based users and urged them to onboard at HBUS. It appears that not enough of them did so.
The US is generally regarded as a more regulated environment when it comes to the trading of cryptocurrencies and other financial products. As crypto markets have corrected in recent years, as prices have mostly tracked sideways, and as new investors seem wary and waves of them fail to materialize, liquidity may also be an issue at smaller crypto trading platforms.
According to The Block, key HBUS executives have left the company in recent months, including Oren Blonstein, who took over as CEO in September 2019 and left early this month. Blonstein took over from Frank Fu, now reportedly working as managing director at Fenbushi Capital.
Huobi recently survived a round of “rectifications” in China that saw finance regulators in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing conduct a round of “inspections” that reportedly led to the closure of 173 crypto trading desks and two-thirds of the country’s online lending platforms.
Huobi appears to be in favour with the current Chinese regime, and last week hosted a government-sanctioned “International Cooperation Forum on Digital Economy and Blockchain” at the Ritz Carlton in Haikou on the island province of Hainan.
The island is one of several areas specially designated by Chinese officials for the development of large-scale “blockchain” systems to underpin the country’s industrial and data systems.
Huobi says the event featured, “high-level Chinese officials, Huobi executives, and foreign dignitaries…(sharing) new insights on the development of the blockchain industry and the digital economy both in China and globally.”