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Huobi founder sells Bitcoin exchange to About Capital

The founder of Seychelles-based crypto exchange Huobi Global is selling his controlling stake to a Hong Kong investment firm called About Capital and would have “no impact” on Huobi’s core business.

According to a blog post on Huobi’s official website, the transaction only “involves the change of controlling shareholder and has no impact on Huobi’s core operation and business management teams.” 

After the transaction, About Capital will lead Huobi to “embrace a series of new international brand promotion and business expansion initiatives” and to bring in a global strategic advisory board “led by leading industry figures.” The blog post also mentions that About Capital will bring “the injection of sufficient capital in margin and risk provision funds, as well as measures to enhance competitiveness.”

Huobi founder Leon Li Lin has been looking to sell his majority stake in Huobi since August, with FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and Tron CEO Justin Sun reportedly in “preliminary talks” in the sale. Bankman-Fried later tweeted that FTX was not planning to acquire it.

A week after the rumours of possible acquisition, Huobi’s cash-backed stablecoin HUSD curiously slipped from its $1 USD peg by almost 15% – referred to as a “short-term liquidity problem”. The next day, HUSD gained back its peg. Token issuer Stable Universal blamed the instability on “time difference in banking hours”.

Huobi has a recent history of compliance-focused charges – with the crypto exchange shutting down operations in the US in late 2019, and not having opened up since. Huobi had shut its operations in China in 2021 after a state-wide crackdown on crypto from Chinese authorities. Authorities forced Huobi to stop registering accounts with mainland Chinese phone numbers, and to stop trading derivatives in China in order to remain compliant.

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