Huobi Buys into Japanese Crypto Exchange BitTrade

Japanese-licensed cryptocurrency platform BitTrade has agreed to sell a majority stake in its business to Huobi.

Singapore-based digital currency exchange Huobi has acquired a majority stake in BitTrade, Eric Cheng, owner of the Japanese crypto marketplace, announced in a press release on Wednesday. The exact size of the stake and the price of the deal were not disclosed.

Expectations are that the deal, made via Huobi’s wholly-owned subsidiary Huobi Japan Holding, will allow BitTrade to grow in size on the Japanese market, as well as expand globally in the future. In a comment on the new partnership, Cheng said:

“Together, we will leverage on Huobi's global footprint, excellent management team and advanced security systems to grow BitTrade into a market-leading position in Japan. Having a long-term partnership with an established brand such as Huobi is the right step for BitTrade as we look to continue our rapid growth trajectory."

One of the 16 officially regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, BitTrade is claimed to be well suited to take advantage of the rising crypto demand in the Asian country, having in mind that nearly one in three global Bitcoin transactions in December 2017 were denominated in yen, the statement reads.

Huobi’s CFO Chris Lee also anticipates benefits from the acquisition:                      

“We strongly believe in the synergies we can create through continued investment into R&D, and compliance, backed by our world class security and local operations teams across the globe. Leveraging on BitTrade's leadership team and its Japanese government-approved license, this is just the beginning […].”

Less than a month ago, Huobi hit the headlines on rumors about another purchase it had reportedly made. Huobi is said to have bought the controlling stake at Hong Kong-listed electronics firm Pantronics Holdings via a backdoor listing, according to local media outlet The exchange has not confirmed the speculations, but if the reverse takeover holds true, Huobi will automatically start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.