Huobi aims to partner with Australian blockchain projects
The first order of business might be growing the entire crypto pie, rather than just cutting off a piece.
Huobi, one of the world's largest exchanges by volume, is launching its Australian crypto exchange today. It is offering AUD trading across a limited set of coins for now but has plans to grow its listings in the future. But beyond launching another exchange into Australia, it's angling to become a contributing member to Australia's growing blockchain technology scene through its Huobi Capital investment arm, Huobi Labs consulting service and its US$200 million Global Ecosystem Fund.
"Crypto-traders in Australia are increasingly knowledgeable and sophisticated, matched by a receptive regulator with interest in safely developing the market. For Huobi Group, the move to Australia is a natural fit for our technically robust platform." said Mr. Harrison, CEO Huobi Australia. "We are keen to partner with the growing numbers of Australian blockchain projects looking to list in a maturing market."
It's already made at least one partner in the form of Blockchain Global, a multi-purpose blockchain investment and consulting firm dually based in Hong Kong and Australia.
"Our strategic alliance with Huobi Australia represents our journey towards fostering mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, in Australia and around the world," said Sam Lee, CEO of Blockchain Global. "With our technical expertise in running cryptocurrency exchanges and solid relationships with regulators, industry bodies and investors, we look forward to bringing Huobi Australia to the masses."
Blockchain Global and Huobi cover a lot of the same ground, with both having their own connections to competing mining pools and exchanges, and angling for the same relatively small market.
According to the press release, in 2017, there were only an estimated 300,000 unique cryptocurrency customers, but the value of digital currency trading in Australia was estimated at $5.9 billion in 2017.
"Some 83 percent of traders are male and 71 percent are under 40 years of age," it adds.
The gender and age estimates are about on the par with estimates from Accenture and the Australian Digital Commerce Association, but its estimates of the 2017 Australian crypto market value were lower. Either way, with only about 300,000 users, Australia is still a relatively small target compared to most other countries.
Changing that might be Huobi and Blockchain Global's shared goal.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and XRB.