Huobi Discusses Crypto Regulations at GDF Asia Conference

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In Brief
  • A pair of Huobi executives spoke at the 2021 GDF Asia Conference.

  • While COO Mariah Zhao discussed crypto as a growing asset class, Compliance Director Elaine Sun emphasized the company’s commitment to compliance.

  • Huobi’s reaffirmation comes at a time when regulatory pressure is mounting globally.

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At the 2021 GDF Asia Conference, the Huobi Group discussed developments in cryptocurrency regulations in Asia.



Digital Global Finance (GDF) held its 2021 Asia Conference on March 23. There, a pair of Huobi executives spoke on crypto regulations and adoption during two of the conference’s sessions.

Mariah Zhao, COO of Huobi Technology, was among the first panel who discussed crypto and digital assets for traditional asset managers. Meanwhile, Elaine Sun, Compliance Director of Huobi Technology participated in the discussion regarding the direction of regulations in Asia.



Crypto Demand Growing

During the first panel, Zhao noted the growing demand for traditional asset managers to include digital assets like bitcoin in their portfolios. She also highlighted the growing interest in entry-level digital asset products as a way to understand the emerging asset class.

However, Zhao cautioned that unreasonable volatility and regulatory concerns precluded the large-scale adoption of digital assets. 

In light of this, Elaine Sun later emphasized that Huobi has adopted a compliance-focused approach when providing its services globally. To ensure the security of all its assets, Huobi has implemented a global compliance strategy across several countries and regions. Huobi has acquired several licenses in Hong Kong, as well as a trust license in Nevada in December 2020. Additionally, the Huobi Group has licenses to operate legally in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Gibraltar.

“If regulatory compliance is the future of digital assets, we need all industry players to act in a compliant manner,” Sun said, “As one of the leaders in this emerging industry, we see it as our responsibility to pave that path toward compliance for others by fully embracing digital asset regulations.”

Huobi Capital Management, a HKSE-listed subsidiary recently received regulatory approval to launch three regulated funds.These include a BTC tracker fund, an ETH tracker fund, and a multi-strategy digital asset fund. 

Regulatory Challenges

Huobi’s perspective regarding compliance is very proactive, considering increased scrutiny on the part of digital asset regulation.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recently released an updated draft of its cryptocurrency guidance. Non-profit organization Coin Center, which conducted the research, said these revisions could severely hinder privacy and innovation. 

Meanwhile, India is still mulling over whether to allow cryptocurrencies in the country at all. While Huobi seems up to the challenge of preempting regulation, others are folding under the increasing pressure.

Competing exchange OKEx recently announced it will stop operating in South Korea following the passage of stringent anti-money laundering regulations.


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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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