Huobi, one of the market’s most-popular crypto-exchanges and one synonymous with Seychelles, is in the news today after the archipelago’s Financial Services Authority clarified that it has never supervised or regulated the exchange in question. This is an interesting development, especially since Huobi, with a daily trading volume of over $29 billion at press time, has often been perceived as being headquartered in Seychelles.
“The FSA strongly urges investors and members of the public to exercise caution in respect to the services offered by the above mentioned IBC and any other company providing such services,” it said, with IBC bearing reference to Huobi’s International Business Company number.
What’s odd and interesting here is that according to the crypto-platform, Huobi Global Limited “is a company incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles under the laws of the Republic of Seychelles.” In fact, its User Agreement “in its entirety is a contract concluded under the laws of the Republic of Seychelles, and relevant laws of the Republic of Seychelles shall apply to its establishment, interpretation, content, and enforcement.”
Also, Seychelles’ actions are uncannily similar to Malta’s handling of Binance in 2020.
On 21 February 2020, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a similar statement to investors stating that Binance is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the cryptocurrency sphere and is therefore not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA.
To this date, there is much ambiguity around the cryptocurrency exchange’s “real headquarters” since Binance Holding Company has reportedly been established in the Cayman Islands, with several other offices across the globe.
“We have offices in Malta for customer services, and some compliance people there, but it’s not the headquarters per se. It’s the spiritual headquarters,” Ted Lin, Binance’s Chief Growth Officer had said in an old interview.
After multiple attempts to extract information regarding where exactly the company’s headquarters are, Binance CEO CZ had gone on record to state that Binance has multiple offices across different cities with staff across 50 countries.
“It’s not that we don’t want to admit it, it’s not that we want to obfuscate it or we want to kind of hide it. We’re not hiding, we’re in the open,” he had said. According to CZ, Binance is a new type of organization that doesn’t need registered bank accounts and postal addresses.
Here, it’s worth noting that some have speculated that Seychelles FSA’s actions in this regard may force Huobi to relocate its official place of business to an entirely new geography. At the time of writing, Huobi was yet to come out with a statement regarding the development in question.
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