China’s Huobi Acquires Latin American Exchange Bitex to Expand Footprint

Chinese crypto exchange Huobi has acquired Latin American crypto exchange Bitex to expand its presence in the region. Though terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Huobi said it plans to integrate Bitex’s operations with its platform even as the Latin American crypto exchange will retain its branding and continue to be run independently. Bitex operates in a host of South American nations like Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay and the integration with Huobi will enable Latin Americans to access a widee range of digital assets going forward.

Founded in 2014, Bitex’ exchange supports at least 15 cryptocurrencies, including stablecoins Tether (USDT), DAI, and USD Coin (USDC). It supports on-ramps from several fiat currencies, including US dollars; Argentine, Chilean and Uruguayan pesos; the Paraguayan guaraní, and Peruvian sol.

“Bitex was founded to protect the value of our users’ money, in the wake of major financial crises in Latin America,” Bitex CEO Francisco Buero said in a press release. “Having grown rapidly after eight years of successful operations, we believe our partnership with Huobi Global will not only support our expansion but also help us better serve our customers, enabling them to access a broader range of digital assets on Huobi Global’s platform. Additionally, Huobi Global’s strong track record in security will help safeguard our important mission as we continue to operate as a borderless exchange.”

Huobi has been interested in stepping up its Latin American presence since 2019 when it launched Huobi Argentina. The company notes that from 2019 to 2021, Latin America saw crypto usage rise by 1,370 percent, with Venezuela and Argentina ranking seventh and tenth, respectively, in the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index published by Chainalysis.

As of now, Huobi Global is the fourth largest exchange by crypto trade volume, and in terms of crypto reserves, Huobi is the third largest with $11.7 billion (roughly Rs. 90,845 crore) in assets under management (AUM).

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