Huobi, the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, plans to build its first public and decentralised blockchain and fund it with 30 million Huobi Tokens worth about US$174 million.
In the public blockchain, where digital currencies like bitcoin and Ethereum operate, there is no central entity that owns and controls space so anybody can add new blocks to the blockchain.
Huobi said that after its public blockchain project – called Huobi Chain – is complete it will move its cryptocurrency operations to the platform.
“We firmly believe in a decentralised future and the main goal of the Huobi Chain project is to transform a centralised corporation to a decentralised one that’s run by the community,” said Leon Li Lin, founder and CEO of Huobi Group. “Our dream is for Huobi to run on the public blockchain and become a truly decentralised autonomous organisation.”
Li added that all the code behind Huobi’s public blockchain will be open-sourced.
Huobi, founded in 2013 by Li, has become the second largest mainland Chinese cryptocurrency exchange after OKEx. However, both exchanges have come under tighter scrutiny from the Chinese government. Last September, Chinese regulators ordered both exchanges to shut down their renminbi to cryptocurrency trading operations.
Singapore, which was described as “friendly to blockchain technology” by Ben He, CEO of Ethereum wallet imToken, has emerged as the favoured destination for Chinese companies in the cryptocurrency industry in the wake of Beijing’s crackdown on digital currencies and initial coin offerings late last year. Bitmain, which operates the world’s largest mining collective, said earlier this year it was opening a regional headquarters in Singapore,
Huobi moved its headquarters from Beijing to Singapore last October while OKEx, the world second largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, said in April that it plans to move its headquarters from Hong Kong to the European island of Malta.
Besides mainstream digital assets like bitcoin, Etherum and EOS, Huobi has also listed a number of new digital currencies on its trading platform including Tether, Ripio, kyber, Airswap and its own Huobi Token.
Last month, former OKEx chief executive Chris Lee joined Huobi as vice-president of global business development to oversee international operations. Lee was hired by Huobi just a week after he quit OKEx.