World’s Third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi, is set to launch a USD $1 billion funds to finance domestic blockchain-related startups. The fund is meant to strengthen its operations in China after shutting down renminbi-to-bitcoin trading last year.

China’s Huobi Labs Launches $1 Billion Blockchain Fund

The blockchain fund will be co-launched with Tianya Community Network Technology, a Hainan-based social networking platform. The two companies will build a “Global Cultural and Creative Blockchain Lab”, Huobi said in a blog post on its official website. There are also some plans to move the headquarters of Huobi from Beijing to Hainan in 2018 to be located in Hainan Ecological Software Park.

This initiative is to be carried out in a line with a national-level strategy to increase the development level of the province that was elaborated and implemented personally by President Xi Jiping. The Chinese government has a very skeptic and ambiguous approach towards blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Though the government has banned Initial Coin Offerings and transactions between the renminbi and digital assets at exchanges, at the same time it tries to encourage digitalization and create an innovation-friendly environment.

Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts know Huobi as a trading platform. The Chinese entity supports dozens of cryptocurrencies and digital assets alike. By now focusing part of the Huobi China on the blockchain, the group can tackle both nascent industries at the same time. The Huobi trading platform has made inroads in 130 countries around the world.

Although ICOs are banned in the country, China still has a huge number of blockchain-related projects and start-ups that work with this technology and do not issue ICOs. It means that Huobi Labs’ blockchain fund will still have a wide audience comprising of hundreds of promising projects that are looking forward to attracting investments.

Various companies around the world have shown a keen interest in blockchain technology. Albeit most firms aren’t too sure Bitcoin has a future, they see merit in the underlying technology. Especially financial institutions and supply chain service providers can benefit from a distributed ledger based venture.

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