Major cryptocurrency exchange Huobi may finally be returning to the fold in China, over two years after a Beijing crypto crackdown forced domestic trading platforms out of the country.
Per Chinese media outlet Fn.com, Huobi China has joined a state-endorsed blockchain alliance named the Blockchain Services Network (BSN). The network is the brainchild of the State Information Center, a government think tank affiliate of the National Development and Reform Commission – the state’s economic management agency.
At an event held over the weekend, other new BSN members were announced, including big-hitting card provider and financial services group UnionPay, state-owned telecoms groups China Mobile and China Telecom, as well as two major domestic banks.
The news outlet says that Huobi’s CEO Yuan Yu Ming attended the event, which was co-organized by UnionPay and the State Information Center.
The CEO said he was very pleased that Huobi had been accepted as a member of the BSN, and spoke of making a “collaborative effort” with fellow members to promote blockchain education in China.
The BSN, say its founders, will seek to boost the development, deployment and interoperability of blockchain applications across a range of industries, and will look to “promote the rapid development and popularization of blockchain technology” in China. Meanwhile, at least five local Chinese crypto exchanges have recently halted operations or announced they will no longer serve domestic users as the country started a new crackdown on crypto trading.
Huobi has cautiously been edging its way back into the domestic market – although it has been careful to move in line with state- and province-approved blockchain initiatives. Earlier this year, Yuan spoke at a blockchain event in Hainan, where the company has recently established an office that it says carries out blockchain-related research.
During its 2015-2016 heyday, Huobi’s Beijing offices were was the de facto center of the global Bitcoin trade, with an estimated 60% of the world’s transactions taking place on its platform.
Now, Huobi is ranked 16th by trading volume (USD 598 million in the past 24 hours), according to Coinpaprika.