The relentless cryptocurrency bear market has claimed yet another victim. This time, it is Huobi Australia, who announced earlier today it will be shutting up shop just eight months after launching in Melbourne.
Huobi Australia, who launched as part of a joint venture between blockchain investment and consulting firm Blockchain Global and Huobi Group – one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by traded volume – broke the news to its users via email and social media on Monday, informing them that:
Due to poor market conditions and associated recent staff redundancies here at Huobi Australia, all operations, including the management of our platform, social media channels and customer support will be managed by our team at Huobi Global headquarters starting 26th February 2019.”
Whilst the exchange itself will continue operating, it will exist “in its current coin-to-coin format,” according to Huobi Australia’s communiqué. Indeed, the Australian arm of the Huobi Global empire previously submitted a registration with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) in the hope it could add a fiat on-ramp to its offering. However, per today’s announcement, the exchange has “decided to forgo [its] AUSTRAC registration.”
It remains to be seen where members of the Huobi Australia team will move on to next. The exchange was led by chief executive Adrian Harrison, a financial services professional with nearly two decades experience working across Asia. Other Huobi Australia employees included business operations manager Jack Zhang, financial controller Lei Dong, and head of growth and marketing Lien Chin; each of whom have yet to update their LinkedIn profiles.
More Pain Awaiting Australian Crypto Exchanges?
As reported weeks ago by local news outlet ABC, AUSTRAC – Australia’s leading financial intelligence agency – have officially registered a staggering 246 cryptocurrency exchanges since April 2018. Considering the Australian population is not even 25,000,000 – less than two-thirds the size of California – it leads one to wonder if more pain awaits this group of cryptocurrency exchanges, particularly if the now-record-long Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency bear market continues to wane.
Crypto Job Losses Continue
Huobi Australia’s closure and staff layoffs come just weeks after the South China Morning Post reported Huobi Group was “optimising staffing” by cutting an undisclosed number of its 1,000-plus employees.
This proceeded other job cuts announced by Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain Technologies, along with a number of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Kraken, Coinfloor, and Coinbase.