Crypto exchange Huobi could receive a crypto trading license in Hong Kong as soon as the end of the year, Huobi advisor and Tron founder Justin Sun said on CoinDesk TV on Friday.
The exchange submitted an application to become a virtual asset service provider (VASP) last week, he said, which includes an 18-month grace period in which regulators can approve or deny the application, but Sun said he predicts a decision could come in the next six to twelve months.
"The details of the regulation will come out in the next 18 months, for example, how to comply with customer withdrawals [and] anti money laundering requirements," Sun said. "In the next 18 months we have a grace period so Huobi Hong Kong can operate in Hong Kong, take customers, get our banking and serve our customers."
The exchange recently moved its headquarters from Singapore to Hong Kong in hopes of launching Huobi Hong Kong after the city said it is looking to become a virtual asset hub as soon as this summer.
While it’s unknown if any other Asia-based crypto exchanges have applied for a similar license, Sun said he could see five to six other players also making the move, including OKX, Gate.io, Bitget and ByBit.
When asked about possibly competing with Coinbase and Kraken in Canada, Sun said Huobi has no plans to operate in the country given its strict regulatory requirements.
“I’ll work on all the friendly jurisdictions first,” Sun said, referring to the Caribbean, Hong Kong, and Japan in general.