Global crypto trading giant Huobi has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in BitTrade Co. Ltd, which itself was recently purchased by Singaporean entrepreneur Eric Cheng. One of only 16 government-licensed crypto exchanges in Japan, BitTrade currently supports user trades in some of the most popular crypto assets including bitcoin, ether , XRP, bitcoin cash and litecoin amongst others.

In a statement, Huobi revealed that its plan is to leverage Cheng’s vast international network with the goal of scaling BitTrade into Japan’s biggest crypto trading platform with international growth potential.

Since its establishment in 2013, Huobi has grown into one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange platforms with a cumulative trading volume in excess of $1 trillion. It has millions of users around the world as well as local compliance units in Australia, South Korea, Luxembourg, the UAE and Singapore.

Despite the crypto market downturn that has hit demand for cryptocurrencies around the world, BitTrade occupies a unique position as the crypto market in Japan consistently records demand figures well in excess of the global average. In December 2017, nearly 33 percent of all global bitcoin transactions were denominated in Yen.

Huobi and Eric Cheng as Mutual Beneficiaries

According to a statement released to the media, both management teams will focus on scaling up BitTrade’s services to meet the demands of the Japanese market while improving the user experience and maintaining strict compliance. The statement also mentions that Cheng’s network will be key to scaling the platform in other jurisdictions around the globe.

CryptoGlobe reported in June that Singaporean national Cheng acquired BitTrade and its affiliate company FX Trade for $50 million, in the process becoming the first foreign investor to acquire a full stake in a JFSA-regulated crypto and forex trading platform.

Explaining the rationale behind the partnership Cheng said:

Together, we will leverage on Huobi's global footprint, excellent management team and advanced security systems to grow BitTrade into a market-leading position in Japan. Having a long-term partnership with an established brand such as Huobi is the right step for BitTrade as we look to continue our rapid growth trajectory.

In his reaction Chris Lee, Huobi Board Secretary and Chief Financial Officer praised Cheng’s strong international network and expressed belief that the two platforms will work symbiotically.

He said:

We found the right partner in Mr. Cheng who has demonstrated his capabilities as an international entrepreneur with a strong track record. Looking ahead, we will leverage on Mr. Cheng's international network and passion for blockchain technology as we continue to expand geographically. We strongly believe in the synergies we can create through continued investment into R&D, and compliance, backed by our world class security and local operations teams across the globe.