South Korean media outlet New1 reported on Jan. 9 that cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Korea is preparing to purchase its shares from Huobi Global and change its name. About 72% of shares in Huobi Korea are owned by Huobi Global co-founder Leon Li. Huobi Korean chairman Cho Kook-bong would take over Li’s share in the Korean company. Cho is also the owner of a major crypto-mining operation in the country, according to News1.
Rumors of problems at Huobi Global had been circulating for weeks. It was one of the original partners for the city of Busan in its quest to become “the blockchain city of South Korea,” but it was dropped along with the four other global partners late last year. Li sold his share in Huobi Global to Justin Sun in October.
Huobi Korea was the country’s second-largest exchange at the time of its certification by the Korea Internet and Security Agency in January 2021. According to the News1 report, the Korean exchange was spurred into action by concern over the parent company’s proof-of-reserves report released in December. That report indicated Huobi Global had reserves of over $3 billion, but 43.3% of those reserves were in its self-issued Huobi Token (HT). Huobi’s HUSD stablecoin became briefly depegged in August.
Huobi Global announced plans to relocate to Seychelles in early November and announced a strategic partnership with Poloniex on Nov. 30.