Huobi is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange originally founded in China. Its name means ‘hot currency’ in Chinese. Following a 2017 government ban on Bitcoin exchanges, it moved its exchange headquarters to Singapore but continues to operate as a blockchain consulting and research platform on the Chinese market.
In 2018 Huboi became publicly listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange and now has offices in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Its US operations, located in San Francisco, are run by HBUS Holdco, Inc., a US company and strategic partner of Huobi Global.
Huobi Global claims to be one of the largest digital asset trading service providers in the world and aims to forge strategic partnerships in each country it moves into; it is said to be eyeing expansion into the Middle East, Brazil, Vietnam, and the UK and European markets.
Between September 15 and November 1, 2017, the Chinese government’s rule changes decimated Huobi’s trading volume by 95%. While trading gradually recovered, the leadership team decided to launch a proprietary cryptocurrency, the Huobi Token (HT), to boost customer engagement, especially with their premium product offerings.
The HT is an exchange coin, tradeable with any cryptocurrency on the Huobi exchange. It was launched in January 2018, with 300,000,000 of the total HT being distributed on a first come, first serve basis to Huobi VIP subscribers. The HT ecosystem has five different membership tiers providing discounts of between 10-50% on transaction fees depending on the tier.
Another significant benefit of HT ownership is the provision of voting rights on exchange decisions, including which new assets will be listed on the exchange. HT will also be periodically bought back by Huobi and burned.
The exchange platform, which is said to mimic Binance, was founded by Jun Du, who previously held positions as operations director at Comsenz and Tencent, and Leon Li, who was previously an engineer at Oracle.
In 2014 Huobi Group raised $1 million in Series A funding through ZhenFund and Sequoia Capital, raising a further million via an ICO in 2017. In 2018, its accumulative turnover had exceeded 1.2 trillion USD and it held the title of the world's largest digital asset exchange with a global share of 50%, providing services to users in over 130 countries.
Advisors to the company have included Randi Zuckerberg, the elder sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg; Bitcoin evangelist and investor Jeffrey Wernick; and Don Tapscott, an early proponent of cryptocurrency who is known for his book Blockchain Revolution and his TEDGlobal conference.Read More