Based in Singapore, Huobi can be described as a ‘digital asset exchange’. The platform supports ICO tokens as well as all main cryptocurrencies – including BTC, XRP, ETH, LTC and many others.
The Huobi holding corporation behind the digital asset exchange was started in Beijing in 2013 but forced to relocate to Singapore in 2017 after the Chinese régime banned Fiat to cryptocurrency trading and ICOs.
Huobi exchange has recently made some branding adjustments to stay attractive to users. Today, its major offering is Huobi Global, a global crypto exchange providing an appealing platform to trade cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain. It supports a wide range of altcoins and a variety of stable coins, alongside its own invention – HUSD, a USD-backed stable coin.
Huobi also has a token, Huobi Token (HT), which the platform markets as a utility token used for competitions, fee discounts, and voting on certain matters. HT has a total supply of 500 million, and Huobi buys back a certain portion of the coins regularly to serve as an emergency user protection fund.
Huobi Trading Options
In addition to the basic trading interface, Huobi offers two complementary trading platforms.
The HADAX – Huobi Autonomous Digital Asset Exchange – platform grants professional traders access to an even more advanced version of the regular cryptocurrency market.
Huobi global does not independently verify the investment value of coins/tokens registered on HADAX as it does on the main Huobi platform. Users on the autonomous exchange vote for token listings, which are then confirmed by HADAX to be trustworthy and authentic.
The over-the-counter (OTC) section of Huobi exchange gives crypto traders a simple way to move huge amounts of digital coins without exposure to the unpredictable crypto exchange market.
Certified merchants can register here, and slippage can be minimized by matching buyers and sellers directly instead of creating market orders.
OTC cryptocurrency trades are typically made when the size of the buy or the sale is likely to be large enough to move the market on its own, or when time becomes a significant factor.
Despite the many trading options available, Huobi has a rather simple fee system. Both maker and taker fees are presently set for nearly all trading pairs at 0.2%. This can drop to as low as 0.1% depending on trading volumes.
Maker fees are assessed when adding liquidity to Huobi’s order book via a limit order under the last buy price and above the last sell price.
Taker fees are similarly evaluated when liquidity is removed from the Huobi order book through an order affected against the given trade order.
Note: The fees are always deducted from the executed total in the value of the final coin.
Security Concerns About the Exchange
The exchange is built on an advanced distributed system architecture, and 98% of assets are held in multi-signature cold storage wallets, which means they are not accessible online for hackers to siphon. The outputs of these wallets are limited to the platform’s native hot wallet, which is monitored 24/7.
Over the four years, the exchange has been in operation without experiencing any security breaches. It is said to have complied with the highest standards of cryptocurrency exchanges.
However, Huobi doesn’t provide users with enough ways to safeguard their accounts. Although 2-factor authentication (2FA) is available using both SMS and Authenticator apps, the exchange does not require any distinctive confirmation if the account is logged into from an unfamiliar IP address/location.
Furthermore, there is no option to whitelist addresses for asset withdrawal, permitting funds to be sent to any address input.
When it comes to traders’ privacy, Huobi has a non-strict KYC/AML requirement feature available. That means some users may not undergo the verification process, despite the platform reserving the right to demand verification from any of its users on the event of any special case or to unlock higher withdrawal limits on daily withdrawals.
This means that Huobi values anonymity, which makes the exchange attractive to users who may not prefer strict scrutiny.
User Experience and Reviews
Huobi’s user experience is relatively impressive when compared to other altcoin exchanges, although not perfect.
The platform itself is easy to navigate and strikes a nice balance between functional, visually pleasing and elegant. The live chat representative is also available very quickly and do best to answer user questions.
A user by the name Peter Schlleter, praised the exchange saying:
“Highly recommended. I trading with Huobi from 5 months ago and everything is great.”
Marko was also full of praise for Huobi:
“Best, never ever one single problem or pending withdrawals or deposits, real market prices, one of the best trading platforms with no problems.”
However, they still have some things to improve, mainly revise descriptions of some sections, i.e. fees to make them more understandable and consequently reduce support tickets and delays.
A user named Kay lamented:
“Unless you have the patience of a saint, DO NOT USE HUOBI GLOBAL!!!!! A simple Etheureum deposit requires 2200 confirmations which could take well over six hours and the support team is terrible. I’ve never waited this long for an eth transaction, it’s ridiculous.”
Our Verdict About Huobi Global
To conclude, Huobi Global has managed to build a successful exchange platform, operating in the crypto space for a long time with its reputation steadily growing.
The exchange offers a tiered risk structure which starts with its OTC offerings and ends with the HADAX platform. This is good for risk management and helps keep malicious coins from trading on the main platform.
Unlike many exchanges, Huobi physically sets money aside to recover investors’ potential losses if its homegrown security systems fail, making it close to the total package for advanced cryptocurrency trading.
Unfortunately, there have been some allegations which suggest Huobi might have been falsifying trading volumes.
It’s also a shame that the huge potential pool of U.S. investors cannot currently take advantage of the platform. That is after the exchange said it has been “gradually disabling” U.S. accounts to prevent trading and transferring.
U.S. users were advised to withdraw all assets from the platform before November 13, 2019, as Huobi focuses on a future strategic partnership for re-entering the U.S market that runs a separate order book from Huobi Global and operates independently from the main exchange.