Crypto exchange Huobi Global has unveiled plans to move its headquarters from Seychelles to one of the countries in the Caribbean, said Justin Sun, the firm’s new advisory board member.
Citing Sun in a November 2 article, the Financial Times (FT) reported that the Chinese cryptocurrency exchange was planning to move its head office to the Caribbean at a time when governments around the world are doubling down on crypto regulations. According to Sun, Huobi’s intention “to go all in in the Caribbean” is bolstered by the region’s “super-friendly” stance on crypto, common law judicial systems, and adoption of the English language. Sun, appointed to the company’s board in October, said, “These days, one of the biggest targets we have here is to go all in the Caribbean.” Dominica, Panama, and the Bahamas were the frontrunners, he added.
Confirming the reports, Justin Sun posted a link to FT’s article on Twitter, saying:
“One of our biggest goals is to go all in the Caribbean. It has a very crypto-friendly community, and Dominica is one of the frontrunners. @HuobiGlobal will move the HQ to the Caribbean.”
Justin Sun, who resigned as Tron’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) last year to become Grenada’s ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO), met Dominica’s prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit in 2021 also said that Huobi would be “working closely with Dominica to develop #crypto infrastructure.”
Huobi, a crypto exchange founded in China in 2013, is currently headquartered in Seychelles, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, with offices in the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.
According to FT, the exchange is encouraging several of its employees at its headquarters in Seychelles to move to the Caribbean with the hope of having up to 200 staff relocate to the region. The company currently has about 1,600 employees.
In October, the M&A fund of Hong Kong-based investment company About Capital Management acquired a majority stake in Huobi following a successful buyout deal.
Huobi’s migration to the Caribbean would make it the latest big crypto company to move to the region.
The “Crypto-Friendly” Caribbean
The Caribbean countries have successfully lured some of the most prominent crypto companies because of their crypto-friendly laws. The world’s second-largest crypto exchange FTX moved from Hong Kong to the Bahamas in 2021.
Other crypto companies that have set up offices in the Caribbean include C-Trade, which has offices in the British Virgin Islands, and PrimeBit, which is registered in Saint Vincent and Grenadines. The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance is registered in the Cayman Islands, while the Singapore-based Crypto.com acquired a license to operate in the country in August this year.
The Caribbean islands comprise 13 countries that have been increasingly interested in crypto and Web3.0 over the past few years. Recently, the regional governments have been much more accommodating to cryptocurrencies. For example, the Caribbean region launched its digital currency, DCash, in 2021, a Caribbean Dollars electronic version and a blockchain technology-based currency. Crypto was available to buy goods and services from March 2021 in four island nations, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada.
In October, Dominica’s Skerrit signed an ordinance making cryptocurrencies on the Tron network, founded by Justin Sun, legal means of payment in the country. Skerrit “is a very tech-savvy person. He understands how crypto and the technology works”, said Sun.
According to the co-founder and managing director of crypto hedge fund Nine Blocks Capital Management Henri Arslanian, early actions by regulators in jurisdictions like Bermuda and the Bahamas to formulate regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies have helped attract big crypto players to the region.
As such, the Caribbean is fast growing to become one of the hot spots for global innovations in the crypto industry.