Huobi Global, one of the world’s leading digital asset exchanges, today announced the acquisition of Bitex, one of the first regional cryptocurrency exchanges in Latin America, as it moves to expand its footprint in the fast-growing region. The terms of the deal are confidential and were not disclosed.
Founded in 2014, Bitex has an extensive network in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Huobi Global plans to integrate Bitex’s exchange operations with Huobi Global’s platform, enabling users in Latin America to trade all digital assets available on Huobi Global. Post-integration, Bitex will retain its branding and continue to be independently run by its current management team.
With a population of nearly 665 million, Latin America ranks fifth in the world for cryptocurrency adoption and consistently captures between 8% and 10% of global cryptocurrency activity. The region saw the use of cryptocurrencies rise by 1,370% from 2019 to 2021, with Venezuela and Argentina ranking seventh and tenth, respectively, in the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index published by Chainalysis.
“Since Huobi Group first entered the Latin American market, we have seen remarkable growth there and are bullish on our prospects for the region. We are pleased to partner with an established player like Bitex, as we look to grow our footprint in Latin America. Our partnership will enable more users to trade with Huobi’s proven security, liquidity, and stability,” said Jeffrey Ma, Global Head of M&A at Huobi Group.
Caleb Lim, Senior Investment Manager at Huobi Group, added: “Currently, only about half of Latin American’s population own bank accounts. Through this acquisition, Huobi Global hopes to meet this growing appetite for alternative financial services through blockchain technology. We intend to add more local fiat currencies and work with local partners to expand our ecosystem into Latin America.”
Bitex CEO Francisco Buero said: “Bitex was founded to protect the value of our users’ money, in the wake of major financial crises in Latin America. 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 Group marked its first foray into Latin America with the launch of Huobi Argentina in 2019, drawn by the increasing demand for crypto-related products and services in the market. In 2020, Huobi Argentina introduced fiat-to-crypto pairing between the Argentine Peso and both Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT). Last year, it also added five payment methods to improve users’ trading experience and increase the liquidity of its market.