The idea of making a quick buck led to an explosion of ICOs in the past couple of years. Some thrived; others flopped. But in an industry as relatively young as cryptocurrency, it pays to have a long track record.

That’s one reason Huobi has done so well. Launched in 2013 (ancient by crypto standards), the company’s cryptocurrency exchange has a well-established reputation - particularly in Asia. The exchange is consistently rated in the top five for market cap.

Huobi also issued its own token (Huobi Token) last year to increase user loyalty.

Read on to find out more.

What is Huobi?

Huobi is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trade volume - comparable to OKEx and Bit-Z. It was initially aimed at the Chinese market but has since expanded to more than 130 countries.

It’s also one of the oldest exchanges - having launched in 2013. Huobi’s holding company, Huobi Global, has teams in Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Brazil, and Hong Kong.

Huobi has a token, Huobi Token (HT), which it issued in January 2018. It is listed on Coin Market Cap as one of the top 100 currencies by market cap.

Who created Huobi?

Leon Li founded the company China in 2013. Li has a financial technology background and was a computer engineer at Oracle before launching Huobi.

A brief history

  • September 2013 – Huobi founded
  • November 2017 – Moves headquarters to Singapore after China bans crypto exchanges
  • January 2018 – Huobi Token (HT) announced
  • April 2018 – Hits $1 trillion in trades
  • September 2018 – Acquires Japanese crypto exchange Bittrade
  • November 2018 - Huobi launches derivatives market

Did you know?

Huobi is big on marketing promotions. In December 2018, it announced it would give away a Maserati Ghibli to the person who had the ‘highest cumulative trading score” during the last week of the month.

What’s so special about it

💸 Buyback – Huobi buys back 20% of its own currency, the Huobi Token. These go into a user protection fund that can be redistributed to holders in case of a hack.

✅ Discount – Huobi rewards people who buy currency using Huobi Tokens by offering a discount in transaction fees.

💶 Different versions – There are two main versions of Huobi: Huobi OTC and Huobi Pro. Huobi OTC is a simpler, lighter version. You trade one of 25 fiat currencies (like the Euro) for one of six cryptocurrencies. They don’t charge a transaction fee for most trades in bitcoin, Ethereum, or Tether. Huobi Pro is for advanced traders and offers more than 100 cryptocurrencies. There is a 0.2% fee for most transactions.

How does Huobi work?

Huobi functions similarly to other cryptocurrency exchanges. People can buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and the platform makes money by charging a transaction fee.

A more recent move is the exchange's focus on stablecoins backed by the US Dollar. These are coins that are pegged at the value of the US Dollar, which makes them less susceptible to volatility in the market. When someone deposits one of four stablecoins (Paxos Standard, True USD, US Dollar Coin and Gemini dollars), it will be automatically transferred into Huobi’s HUSD. Then when the person withdraws the currency, they can pick from any of those four in a 1:1 ratio. So you deposit one Gemini dollar, which gets automatically converted to one HUSD. Then when you withdraw it, you could take out one USD Coin. Huobi says the HUSD will eliminate the need to choose between stablecoins, and save on conversion costs.

How is Huobi Token produced?

Huobi Tokens (HT) were initially issued in 2018, with a total supply of 500 million. Of that, 300 million were given away as a perk to people who purchased a “points card” on Huobi Pro. As for the rest, 100 million HT is for ‘user rewards and platform operation’, while the remaining 100 million are for team incentives. The tokens were issued as a way for Huobi to recover after a Chinese crackdown on crypto trading sent trade volumes plummeting. The tokens were intended to increase loyalty to the platform.

HT can be bought and sold using one of Huobi’s exchanges, and aren’t mined like many other cryptocurrencies.

What can you do with the Huobi Token?

The Huobi Token is fuel for the Huobi system. A key way people use it to reduce fees when trading on the Huobi platform. For example, when you exchange one currency for another on the Huobi Exchange, you are charged a 0.2% fee. However, if the currency you are exchanging is the Huobi Token, you are charged a lower fee. This is especially attractive to high volume traders.

Huobi also rewards holders of the Huobi Token with guide to mining., which means they will occasionally give away free tokens to people who are loyal keepers of HT. Additionally, people with Huobi Tokens can have voting rights – like choosing the next token that should be added to the exchange.

The future

Huobi isn’t content with just being a cryptocurrency exchange. It recently launched futures trading through its own derivative market. The goal is to lure more “sophisticated investors from more established financial markets” who want a piece of the crypto pie.

It also says a public blockchain is in the works, called Huobi Chain. The goal is to create the world’s most technologically sophisticated chain. The advisory board includes Randi Zuckerberg, the older sister of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Once the blockchain is launched, the Huobi Token will be migrated to it.

Huobi also wants to have a greater presence worldwide, which is why it announced expansion plans for Middle East, Africa, and South Asia regions.