Block Journal spoke with Ciara Sun, Huobi Group’s Chief of Staff, at The Capital Conference in Singapore on November 13, 2019.
Huobi Group is one of the companies with the deepest roots in the history of the blockchain industry.
David of Block Journal sits down with Ciara Sun of Huobi Group
BJ: Ciara, you are with one of the largest exchanges in the world Huobi. Can you tell us more about it for people who may not know?
CIARA: We are the largest exchange around the globe in terms of cumulative assets and also number of employees. We have over 1,300 employees. Huobi Group is so much more than exchange. Huobi Group is the mother company to many different entities. Of course, we have the famous exchange which is Huobi Global. We also have fully compliant separate entity exchanges like Huobi US, Huobi Japan, and Huobi Korea. And we also have joint-venture exchanges. They’re called Huobi Cloud. We have joint-ventures with local governments or institutions including Huobi Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, etc. We also have Huobi China. It is not an exchange. It is a fully compliant legal entity in China doing blockchain education and blockchain solutions for large corporations, solely focused on blockchain technology. We have Huobi Pool for staking. Huobi Capital for investments. Huobi Labs for incubation.
BJ: Huobi is one of the most established and longest running exchanges in a very competitive industry. What do you think has set Huobi apart all these years?
CIARA: First, is our operational expertise. We grew very fast. We’re constantly adjusting our management skills and improving. We’re also fully compliant and try our best to work with local regulations.
BJ: Can you tell us about what Huobi has in future plans?
CIARA: Because of President Xi’s remarks towards the blockchain industry, we are focusing a lot on expanding Huobi China. Huobi University is now doing a hundred educational sessions to government officials and large conferences across China. We are also publishing blockchain learning materials and books. We are focusing on the blockchain technology and education completely.
BJ: Speaking of Xi’s remarks, what was your initial reaction and what impact do you think it has had on the cryptocurrency markets?
CIARA: First reaction was very surprised. Because a president has never endorsed our industry like this before. We see a lot of opportunities and a lot of challenges. It means that this industry now will receive a lot of attention from the compliance and legal perspective. It also opens up a lot of opportunities because we are now attractive to traditional markets. A lot of traditional business leads and customers are now very eager to learn about blockchain. However, on the digital assets and cryptocurrency part, Xi Jinping didn’t really mention cryptocurrency. However, we did see the price come up. I think because people have so much faith in the industry now.
BJ: With these large changes recently, how would you compare the markets today to the market from 2017? What has changed from Huobi perspective?
CIARA: From the listing perspective, we got hundreds of applications everyday back then. There were a lot of scams. We saw the average investor get hurt. Now we see some great projects with real technologies and real working products. I’d say because of the bear market, we saw a lot of people who weren’t passionate or serious about the technology leave.
BJ: China has also made remarks about digitizing the Chinese Yuan. In the United States, Facebook Libra has hit some obstacles. Do you think other countries (besides China) are falling behind?
CIARA: Libra has very unique position in this industry because it attracts a lot of attention from traditional markets and governments. I think it helped with expediting the blockchain process in China. However, I was surprised to see that China is moving so fast. I think it’s a great national strategy to implement blockchain technology.
BJ: Recently, the trading trend has gone from spot trading towards leverage and futures trading. Do you think this is a trend that will continue and why?
CIARA: We kind of foresaw this coming. In a bear market it is very hard for traders to make profit. That’s when we set up Huobi DM for margin trading. That was on the top of our strategies list. Huobi Group put a lot of effort to support Huobi DM. We are very happy to see results. We surpassed all of our competitors. Trading volume is ranked #1 right now across the globe. I think that futures trading will continue. I think the reason behind is it because in the past, traders were not professional or semi-professionals. Now a lot of the professional traders from traditional markets are coming into cryptocurrencies. They’re bringing a lot of the strategies over too.
BJ: We’re closing in on 2020. People are looking forward to the halving. How do you see the next six months before the halving?
CIARA: It’s kind of funny. Chinese Lunar New Year (February 2020) is kind of a special time. Around that time, you see a big drop in trading volume. People are just not trading. I think that may affect the markets, just based off historical data. Besides that, I don’t really have any opinion on the next few months.
BJ: With all these new technologies, is there anything that worries you about the future?
CIARA: The governance for the technologies. If things get out of control, it’s going to be a disaster. That’s why we have faith in blockchain. It’s functions are very good for governance and transparency.