Crypto Moguls Compete for Huobi Majority Stake: Report

Sam Bankman-Fried, Justin Sun contend for founder’s stake in the cryptocurrency exchange


Justin Sun (Source: Piskev91, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons); Leon Li (Source: Huobi); Sam Bankman-Fried (Source: Cointelegraph, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


key takeaways

  • Huobi founder seeks a valuation of up to $3 billion
  • It’s unclear whether affiliate firm Huobi Technology is part of the stake sale

Leon Li, the founder and CEO of Huobi Global, is in talks with investors to sell his majority stake in the cryptocurrency exchange, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.

Li, who co-founded Huobi in 2013, reportedly wants to sell about 60% of his stake. He’s aiming for a valuation between $2 billion to $3 billion, implying that a sale could generate over $1 billion, the report said.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and Tron founder Justin Sun are among potential investors that have held preliminary discussions with Huobi about the stake sale, it added.

As one of the world’s largest crypto trading platforms, Huobi often sees daily volumes above $1 billion. The exchange slowly pulled out of servicing users in China — previously a hotbed of revenue and clientele — after the country declared crypto-related transactions illegal last year. 

It isn’t clear whether the stake involved includes the company’s Hong Kong-listed affiliate Huobi Technology, which manages digital assets for investors. Huobi Tech’s shares are down 45% so far this year, TradingView data shows.

Huobi, FTX and the Tron Network didn’t return Blockworks’ request for comment by press time.

Some well-positioned venture capitalists and investors considered the recent meltdown in cryptocurrency markets as a buying opportunity for new projects. Periods of turmoil in the market are also seen as the best time to develop new services in the crypto sector.

Bankman-Fried took it upon himself to go on a deal frenzy, announcing agreements to buy Canadian crypto trading firm Bitvo, as well as Embed Financial and BlockFi. He also offered to bail out Voyager Digital, but the bankrupt crypto lender denied what it termed his “low-ball” bid.

Sun — who prefers to be known as His Excellency after a 2021 diplomatic appointment from the Caribbean island nation of Grenada — said last month he was prepared to join Bankman-Fried in offering financial support to companies within the crypto ecosystem, saying that he and the Tron protocol he founded were “ready to serve.” Sun previously acquired a stake in crypto exchange Poloniex and file-sharing pioneer BitTorrent, now called Rainberry, for $140 million.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience:  Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats  Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts   Grow your network […]

recent research

Pyth Cover.jpg


Pyth is a low latency pull-based oracle. In a future that looks increasingly high frequency, with various alt L1s and L2s that have significantly shorter block times than Ethereum, and an explosion of “high-frequency” protocols such as oracle or CLOB perp DEXs, Pyth’s low latency oracle product looks much better positioned to capture a significant amount of market share in comparison to competitors.


Can an ERC-20 token fix science? Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong hopes so


Roughly $65 billion worth of assets remain on Binance after the exchange agreed to pay, forfeit $4.3 billion Tuesday, Nansen data shows


The HTX exchange has been hit by a security breach, similar to the recent Poloniex hack


We have the answers for the usual barrage of questions stuffed with preconceived judgments about Web3, crypto and blockchain


NFT data will be integrated into CoinGecko APIs in second quarter of 2024, having bought Zash for an undisclosed sum


Binance and its former CEO have pleaded guilty to federal charges of over $4.3 billion