Huobi Review: Crypto Exchange or Wash Trading Laundromat?

Do Huobi’s features outweigh its faults?

A Huobi robot with its face apart, emerging from a dark and dingy swamp.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin

It’s time to put one of the more controversial cryptocurrency exchanges under the microscope. This Huobi review aims to delve deep into the workings of one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges. 

Whether you’re a fan or a critic, Huobi Global is a significant player in the blockchain industry, offering a wide array of features and services for crypto enthusiasts. But what separates Huobi from the scores of other exchanges promising the most complete crypto experience?

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With Senior Advisor Justin Sun pulling the strings, Huobi has shown plenty of resilience. The company survived China’s cryptocurrency bans in 2017 and shrugged off wash trading allegations in 2019. Today, Huobi is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the biz, averaging higher trading volume than popular competitors like Kraken.

What does the Huobi Exchange offer that distinguishes it from its rivals? As regulatory sharks close in on other exchanges, is there anything Huobi customers need to know?

What Is Huobi Global?

Huobi Logo.
Source: Huobi

Huobi Global is a leading cryptocurrency exchange with a prominent presence in Asian markets like Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. It provides an all-encompassing digital asset ecosystem that caters to both seasoned crypto traders and investors, featuring spot trading, derivatives trading, staking, crypto loans, crypto yield products, and much more.

The platform boasts some impressive usage metrics. According to their site, the Huobi platform supports over 45 million users and offers high liquidity trading pairs for 700+ cryptocurrencies. Like many crypto exchanges, Huobi offers its own native asset and stablecoin. Huobi Token (HT) unlocks discounted trading fees within the exchange, while Huobi USD (HUSD) serves as a centralized stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar.

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Like most exchanges, Huobi offers plenty of payment methods to help its customers smoothly onboard fiat currencies to their accounts. Moreover, Huobi stores funds in multi-signature cold wallets. These cold storage solutions and Two-Factor Authentication measures give users greater peace of mind. 

Huobi Global History

Founded in 2013 by Leon Li, Huobi Global has grown into one of the world’s largest and most respected cryptocurrency exchanges. Like Binance, the industry’s top exchange, Huobi was forced out of its original headquarters due to the Chinese Government’s cryptocurrency bans. Huobi.com established itself around the world, with bases of operation in the Seychelles and Singapore.

Despite these regulatory pressures, Huobi Global has thrived by expanding its operations globally and continuously innovating its product offerings. However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Huobi exchange. While wash trading allegations have damaged the platform’s reputation, Huobi continuously rises above market doubt and has established itself as a top player.

Huobi Exchange Products and Features

Huobi Global offers a wide variety of products and features for its users. These include spot trading, futures trading, margin trading, and staking. The platform also supports over 700 cryptocurrencies, including popular crypto assets like Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP)

Whether you’re a Bitcoin (BTC) maximalist or an altcoin aficionado, Huobi Global has got you covered. Let’s dive into the diverse range of features available to Huobi users.

Huobi Trading Platform

The Huobi trading platform is designed to cater to both beginners and experienced traders. It offers a user-friendly interface, comprehensive charting tools, and a wide range of trading pairs. 

Whether you’re a novice looking to buy crypto for the first time or a seasoned cryptocurrency trading expert ready to tackle leveraged futures markets, Huobi’s crypto trading platform has the necessary tools. It’s a versatile interface that can cater to the needs of a diverse range of traders.

One of Huobi’s most popular features is its social copy trading tool. With copy trading, Huobi accounts can automatically mimic the trades and positions of top traders. This hands-off approach to trading lets you pass your portfolio management on to experts with a proven track record in the market.

Huobi’s list of trading features offers the following:

  • Spot Market.
  • Margin Trading.
  • Futures, Derivatives, and Options trading.
  • OTC (Over-The-Counter) and P2P Trading Desks.
  • Copy Trading.
  • Algorithmic trading bots.
  • Simplified crypto converters.
  • Buy crypto with a Credit Card/Debit Card.

Huobi Earn

Huobi Earn Review.
Source: Huobi Earn

Huobi Earn offers a variety of staking and yield farming options for those looking to earn passive income from their crypto holdings. Users can stake their favorite cryptocurrencies and earn additional tokens, allowing them to grow their investments over time. 

It’s a great way to put your crypto to work and earn passive income, regardless of what the market is doing. Huobi supports both fixed and flexible subscription terms, meaning there is something for everyone.

Huboi Finance

Huobi FInance Review.
Source: Huobi Finance

Huobi Finance offers a suite of financial tools for cryptocurrency holders. Users can secure instant liquidity by using their digital assets as collateral and borrowing against them. 

This helpful function allows traders to open new positions without selling their existing investments, providing flexibility in their trading strategies. It’s a powerful tool for experienced traders who want to maximize their potential returns.

Huobi Global x APENFT Market

APENFT website.
Source: APENFT

In the booming NFT market, Huobi Global has partnered with APENFT to provide a comprehensive NFT trading platform. Users can buy, sell, and trade their favorite NFTs, tapping into the growing demand for digital collectibles. 

Whether you’re an artist looking to monetize your work or a collector hunting for the next big thing, Huobi Global’s NFT marketplace has something for you.

APENFT is unique amongst all other crypto exchanges because the platform exclusively deals in Tron (TRX) NFTs. Whether this is a benefit or a flaw depends on your point of view. On one hand, Huobi is servicing an NFT community and network often overlooked by other exchanges. 

At the same time, Huobi users miss out on collecting top NFTs like Yuga Labs collections that are only available on Ethereum.

Huboi Learn

Huobi Learn offers a wealth of educational resources for those new to the crypto space. From tutorials on how to trade to deep dives into blockchain technology, Huobi Learn helps users navigate the complex world of cryptocurrencies. 

It’s a great resource for beginners getting their heads around the basics and experienced traders who want to sharpen their skills.

Huobi Fees

If you’re familiar with cryptocurrency exchange fee structures, Huobi’s tiered system will come as no surprise. Both maker and taker fees start from 0.2%, with reduced rates available to high-volume traders. 

Huobi Fee structure.
Source: Huobi Fees

Like Binance and Kucoin, Huobi users can pay their trading fees using the exchange’s native coin, Huobi Token, at a discounted rate.

Withdrawal fees on crypto assets vary depending on each asset and may be inconsistent due to network fees. Withdrawal limits are also enforced on Huobi accounts that haven’t completed a full KYC (Know-Your-Customer) verification process.

Huobi Exchange Concerns

Huobi offers all the features and products we would expect from a top-tier exchange. Now we need to dig a bit deeper and see if there are any skeletons in the closet.

Huobi is no stranger to having its dirty laundry aired in public. In 2019, a Bitwise Asset Management report declared that the Huobi exchange was wash trading crypto assets to inflate its volume artificially. Huobi denied the allegations, but the trading volume on the exchange mysteriously dropped just weeks after the report.

In response to these claims, Huobi declared that a market maker had been identified and had their trading activities discontinued.

Huobi Proof of reserves pie graph.
Source: DefiLlama

Another potential red flag that users should be aware of is Huobi’s reserves. Outside of Bitcoin, Huobi’s largest holdings are TRX, USDT stored on the Tron Network, and Huobi Tokens (HT). This means that more than half of the exchange’s funds are either Huobi Tokens, or assets held on the Tron network, a blockchain founded by the exchange’s top Advisor.

Maybe I’m being dramatic, but this reminds me of another crypto exchange that put all its eggs in its own basket. Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX also tied most of their wealth in their tokens.

Let me put this in perspective. Around 40% of Huobi’s funds are kept in TRX and HT. In comparison, only 3% of Crypto.com’s reserves are held in its native token, CRO.

Huobi vs. Other Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms

It wouldn’t be a comprehensive Huobi exchange review if we didn’t pit the platform head-to-head against its rivals. How does Huobi compare against other heavyweights in the industry?

Huobi vs. Binance

There’s no denying that the Huobi cryptocurrency exchange offers a huge wealth and a variety of features. Compared to Binance, however, Huobi still falls short. Binance offers a wider range of CeFi and DeFi products that benefit users, including their multichain NFT marketplace, launchpad, and tax service.

On the other hand, Huobi supports a greater diversity of crypto assets, with over 700 cryptocurrencies available to trade on the platform.

Huobi vs. Coinbase

Compared to Coinbase, Huobi Global offers a broader range of cryptocurrencies and more advanced trading features. Huobi also benefits from lower trading fees, making it a better option for high-volume crypto traders.

However, Coinbase is known for its user-friendly interface and strong reputation, making it a popular choice for beginners and those prioritizing security. 

While Huobi Global offers more options for advanced traders, Coinbase’s focus on simplicity, customer support, and user experience makes it a strong contender in the market. Whether Huobi or Coinbase is a better fit for you depends on your needs.

Huobi Review: Pros and Cons

Despite its strengths, Huobi Global also has areas that need improvement. Let’s summarize the pros and cons of Huobi Global.

Pros

  • Wide range of features – From spot and futures trading to staking and NFT trading, Huobi Global offers a comprehensive suite of tools for crypto enthusiasts.
  • Large selection of cryptocurrencies – With over 700 cryptocurrencies available for trading, users have a vast selection to choose from.
  • Educational resources – Huobi Learn provides a wealth of educational resources, helping users navigate the complex world of cryptocurrencies.

Cons

  • Shady reputation – Between wash trading allegations and a significant portion of reserves being held in Justin Sun-centric coins, Huobi is waving a few red flags.
  • Outperformed by competitors – Everything that Huobi offers, with the exception of a Tron-based NFT market, is available on almost every other cryptocurrency exchange. Not only that, other exchanges typically have a wider range of features that provide value to their users.

On the Flipside

  • Huobi has been around for a long time. After launching in 2013, Huobi has weathered more crypto winters than most of its rivals. However, Huobi’s reliance on TRX and HT rings alarm bells despite its longevity.

Why This Matters

As one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Huobi Global plays a significant role in the crypto space. Its wide range of features and commitment to innovation make it a key player in the industry. 

However, its reputation still leaves a lot to be desired. As the crypto space continues to evolve, Huobi Global must navigate these challenges while continuing to innovate and provide value to its users.

FAQs

Does Huobi have a mobile app?

Yes, the Huobi mobile app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

Is Huobi reliable?

Huobi is one of the longest-standing crypto exchanges in the industry, having launched in 2013. This would suggest that Huobi is a reliable exchange.

Which is better, Binance or Huobi?

Objectively, Binance offers a broader range of features and has lower trading fees. Despite this, whether Binance or Huobi is a better exchange depends on your needs.

Do you need KYC for Huobi?

You do not need to complete KYC verification processes to use Huobi’s basic services. However, you will face some limitations on your account, like withdrawal limits.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Finn Miller

Finn Miller is a New Zealand-based blockchain writer for DailyCoin who specializes in simplifying complex blockchain topics. He is experienced in crafting whitepapers, researching on-chain data, and advising emerging crypto projects, and uses his unconventional approach to learning and passion for knowledge to provide cornerstone educational content for readers of all levels. When not exploring the depths of DeFi, Finn can be found exploring his other passion, the great outdoors.