Only eight months ago, Huobi was proud to announce the launch of Huobi Australia – a move that it dubbed as a “natural fit”. Since then, things in the crypto world have gone from bad to worse, with a frosty crypto winter settling in. This week in an official Facebook post, Huobi Australia announced that it was shutting up shop following the rather protracted market slump and recent redundancies in the firm.
While the Australian platform isn’t completely vanishing, it won’t be adding support for fiat-crypto trading. This is because it has pulled out from its registration with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) – something that’s only required for fiat-crypto trading.
More Australian Layoffs Expected
The current market condition in Australia is exceptionally bleak. AUSTRAC has registered 246 cryptocurrency exchanges and given them licenses for fiat-crypto trading – meaning it’s a very watered-down market. Prices are as fierce as ever, and if the crypto winter continues to drag on we could begin to see more firms shutting up shop in the region as they cannot afford to remain competitive.
Huobi Global Going Strong
For now, it appears as if only Huobi Australia is closing its doors, as other arms of Huobi Global are thriving in the current market. Back in January, Huobi officially started operating in Japan after it bought a majority stake in BitTrade in September 2018. Huobi is continuing to press ahead and form alliances with regulators and other exchanges in order to bring its powerful crypto trading platform and years of market experience to the world. For the time being, Huobi Global will be taking over all activity from Huobi Australia, meaning Australian clients can still carry on trading using their favorite platform.
Crypto Winter Still Claiming Victims
The recent crypto winter has claimed a significant number of victims in the crypto world, taking down some of the biggest firms around. In January, ShapeShift was forced to lay off 37 employees as crypto winter bit down hard. While it has managed to survive following the mass layoffs, it’s still not showing signs of springing back to life. Next, we saw Hosho let 80% of its workforce go, as ICOs stopped getting their smart contracts audited. Then – in what is one of the biggest shocks to date – Ripple decided to let its chief marketing strategist Cory Johnson go, blaming it on crypto winter. For a company that’s allegedly signing new deals and partnerships left, right, and center, it came as very strange news.
Australian Huobi customers will still be able to trade on the platform as per usual, it will just be managed by Huobi Global for the time being. Sadly, there will be no new fiat on-ramp – a move that could force large numbers of clients to move elsewhere.