Huobi Global Review

Huobi offers a large number of cryptocurrencies, but it also has some drawbacks

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Huobi

Huobi

Investopedia’s Rating
4.1

Our Take 

Huobi Global enables users to buy, sell, stake, and borrow a broad array of cryptocurrencies, providing an encompassing ecosystem for experienced crypto traders and investors. However, the exchange has failed to secure regulatory compliance in major markets, and beginners may struggle with the platform’s multitude of tools and features.

Huobi Global is not available in the U.S.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Deep liquidity

  • Very large number of cryptocurrencies

  • Has yield-generating opportunities

Cons
  • Wash trading accusation

  • Largely unregulated

  • Not beginner-friendly

Key Takeaways
  • Huobi offers deep liquidity in leading cryptocurrency trading pairs.
  • The exchange supports more than 400 cryptocurrencies.
  • Wash trading accusations have tainted the exchange’s reputation.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2013
  • Official Website huobi.com
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 446
  • Customer Support Support Center: https://www.huobi.com/support/en-us/, Email: support@huobigroup.com, Help Tickets, Live Chat

Pros Explained

  • Deep liquidity: Huobi Global is one of the most liquid crypto exchanges in the world, providing deep liquidity in the popular BTC/USDT and ETH/USDT trading pairs.
  • Very large number of cryptocurrencies: Huobi users can trade more than 400 cryptocurrencies on the exchange. 
  • Has yield-generating opportunities: Users can deposit funds and earn double-digit to triple-digit yields on a range of cryptocurrencies. 

Cons Explained

  • Wash trading accusation: Huobi has been accused of wash trading, suggesting that its reported trading volumes may be artificially inflated. 
  • Largely unregulated: Huobi has been operating out of an unlicensed entity in Seychelles, resulting in a long list of countries where the exchange cannot operate. 
  • Not beginner-friendly: The Huobi platform may overwhelm first-time buyers with its sheer number of products and services. 

Introduction

Huobi Global is a leading cryptocurrency exchange with a strong presence in the Asian markets. Founded in 2013, Huobi provides a digital asset ecosystem that encompasses spot trading, derivatives trading, staking, crypto loans, crypto yield products, and more. 

Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

Company Overview

Huobi Global was founded in 2013 in Beijing to provide a cryptocurrency trading platform for individuals in mainland China and beyond. The platform quickly rose to become one of the three big crypto exchanges in China, providing ample liquidity to Bitcoin traders. 

The changing regulatory landscape in China, however, forced Huobi to move its crypto trading services abroad in 2017. The company subsequently incorporated in Seychelles and set up a new headquarters in Singapore, with a focus on expanding to other Asian markets and the rest of the world.  

Huobi Global managed to successfully grow its userbase outside of China to become one of the most liquid crypto exchanges in the world. 

In 2019, however, a report by Bitwise Asset Management accused Huobi Global of wash trading to inflate its reported trading volume figures. While Huobi denied the accusations, it announced that it put measures in place to discourage wash trading on its platform. A few weeks after the Bitwise report, Huobi’s reported trading volumes dropped.  

Regulatory challenges led to the closure of Huobi Global’s U.S. arm, HBUS, in late 2019 and forced the exchange to also add Singapore to its restricted jurisdictions list in 2021. Huobi also recently announced the closure of its Beijing-based entity and informed all remaining users in mainland China that accounts would be closed by 2021 year-end. 

Despite setbacks in its company history, Huobi has managed to build a thriving crypto-asset ecosystem, composed of its own blockchain, Huobi Eco Chain; the Huobi Token (HT); a dollar-backed stablecoin called HUSD; and more. Today, Huobi Global claims to serve tens of millions of users in 100+ countries. 

Cryptocurrencies Available on Huobi Global

Huobi Global supports trading for more than 400 cryptocurrencies and regularly adds new assets to the platform. Here’s a look at some of the most popular digital currencies and tokens you can currently trade on the platform: 

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Huobi Token (HT)
  • Huobi USD (HUSD)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Zcash (ZEC)

Trading Experience

Huobi Global is available as a web-based platform and a mobile app for Android and iOS. 

The exchange offers VIP account tiers based on the number of Huobi Experience (EXP) points a user has collected. Users accumulate EXP based on their trading volume and cryptocurrency holdings held on the exchange. Depending on the number of EXP collected in the last 30 days, a user can upgrade to Advanced, Insider, Premier, Ambassador, or Partner. 

Benefits for VIP account holders range from gifts to a personal account manager and increased limits. 

Fees

Huobi Global charges a 0.2% base fee. Huobi Token (HT) holders receive a discount on trading fees, which decreases the more HT a user has in their exchange wallet. 

General Tiered Fee Structure

Type Level  30-day trading volume (BTC)  Base fee rate  HT holdings  Fee Rate (in HT)  Effective Discount 
Normal use 1 < 1000 BTC  0.20% ≥10HT  0.18% 10%
Normal use  < 1000 BTC  0.20%  ≥100HT  0.16%  20%
Normal use  < 1000 BTC  0.20%  ≥500HT  0.12%  40% 
Normal use  < 1000 BTC  0.20%  ≥1,000HT  0.09%  55% 
Normal use  < 1000 BTC  0.20%  ≥2,000HT  0.08%  60% 
Normal use  < 1000 BTC  0.20% ≥5,000HT  0.07%  65% 

Professional Trader Tiered Fee Structure

For professional traders, maker fees start at 0.0362% and taker fees start at 0.0462%. Fees decrease based on HT holdings and trading volume.

Type Level  30-day trading volume (BTC)  HT holdings  Maker  Taker
Professional Users 1 ≥700 BTC ≥2,000 HT 0.0362% 0.0462%
Professional Users  ≥1,000 BTC  ≥2,000 HT  0.0294%  0.0420% 
Professional Users  ≥3,500 BTC  ≥2,000 HT  0.0294%  0.0378% 
Professional Users  ≥7,000 BTC  ≥2,000 HT  0.0252%  0.0336% 
Professional Users  ≥10,000 BTC  ≥2,000 HT  0.0224%  0.0308% 
Professional Users  ≥15,000 BTC  ≥2,000 HT  0.0210%  0.0294% 
Professional Users  ≥30,000 BTC  ≥2,000 HT  0.0168%  0.0252% 
Professional Users  ≥60,000 BTC  ≥2,000 HT  0.0126%  0.0210% 
Professional Users  ≥100,000 BTC  ≥2,000 HT  0.0097%  0.0193% 

Trading and Withdrawal Limits

In addition to its fees, Huobi also has daily trading and withdrawal limits for users. These limits increase for users who complete different verification levels. 

  Complete Registration Complete ID Verification  Complete Advanced Verification 
Exchange Digital Assets Withdrawal Quota: 0.06 BTC/24h Digital Assets Withdrawal Quota: 100 BTC/24h Digital Assets Withdrawal Quota: 100 BTC/24h 
P2P  Single or Total Trade Volume Quota: 156 USD (Est.) Single Trade Volume Quota: 313 USD (Est.) or Total Trade Volume Quota: 1569 USD (Est.) No Upper Limits 
Derivatives  Not Available  No upper limits if activating all Derivatives accounts  No upper limits if activating all Derivatives accounts 

Security

Huobi holds client funds in multi-signature cold wallets and has a 20,000 BTC Security Reserve Fund that was set up to cope with extreme security accidents, to provide a high level of security for its users. 

On the regulatory front, however, Huobi has been facing challenges. Huobi Global is incorporated as an unregulated entity in the Seychelles, which means the exchange may not be operating under a license in your jurisdiction. For example, Huobi announced in November 2021 that it has to close accounts of users in Singapore to comply with local laws, putting the country onto the exchange’s restricted jurisdictions list. 

The exchange has recently received regulatory approval to set up its crypto spot trading business in Gibraltar, where it already holds a distributed ledger technology (DLT) provider license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). This will allow Huobi to offer its cryptocurrency buying and selling services through a regulated entity.  

Opening a Huobi Global Account

To sign up for an account on Huobi, you’ll need to enter an email address and a password. Next, you’ll receive a confirmation email and verify your email address. 

Huobi

Huobi

Once you have verified your email address, you can access the platform and explore its products and features. 

However, you’ll be subject to low trading and withdrawal limits with the basic registration. To increase those limits, you’ll need to complete ID verification by sharing a government-issued identification document.

Customer Service

Huobi provides customer support through a support center, help tickets, email, and live chat. However, it does not provide phone support.

Customer Satisfaction

The complexity of Huobi’s platform and its regulatory challenges have impacted user satisfaction.

Huobi’s 2- out of five-star Trustpilot rating highlights the exchange’s challenges with keeping its customers happy. Users report issues withdrawing funds, poor customer service experiences, and the platform allowing GBP deposits but then restricting UK-based users from trading. 

Account Management

Huobi offers a web-based platform and a mobile app available for on-the-go crypto trading. 

Huobi

Huobi

How Huobi Global Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

Huobi has a strong presence in the Asian markets, establishing itself as one of the leading trading platforms with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan. 

Its main competitors are Binance, Bitfinex, bitFlyer, Bithumb, Coincheck, Gate.io, and KuCoin.

Following its forced exit from China, after the Chinese government banned crypto trading on the mainland, Huobi has managed to attract a more global userbase by supporting a range of fiat currencies and payment methods for crypto purchases.

Final Verdict

Huobi Global provides deep liquidity, supports a large number of cryptocurrencies, and offers a broad array of yield-earning opportunities, making it an attractive destination for experienced crypto traders. 

The exchange’s inability to meet regulatory requirements in numerous jurisdictions, however, is preventing Huobi Global from serving more customers across the globe. Beginners may also struggle with Huobi because of the overwhelming number of products and services it offers. 

Methodology 

Investopedia is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.


Exchanges were reviewed on points including security, fees, number of cryptocurrencies available, and more. We also considered if the exchange is regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized. Our full cryptocurrency exchange methodology, including the review process and weighted data points, is available for review.

Article Sources

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  1. CoinMarketCap. "Top Cryptocurrency Spot Exchanges."

  2. CoinDesk. "Huobi Clamps Down on Crypto Wash Trading After Bitwise Report."

  3. Coindesk. "Huobi Clamps Down on Crypto Wash Trading After Bitwise Report."

  4. Finance Magnates. "Huobi's Reported Trading Volume Changed After Bitwise Report."

  5. Huobi. "Inclusion of Singapore as a Restricted Jurisdiction." 

  6. Huobi. "Important Notice – HBUS Cease to Operate."

  7. The Block. "Crypto Exchange Huobi is Dissolving its Entity in China."

  8. The Block. "Crypto Exchange Huobi is Migrating its Spot Trading Business from Seychelles to Gibraltar."

  9. Trustpilot. "Huobi Reviews."