Huobi, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, recently announced and launched a new currency. The Huobi Token (HT) rewards exchange users for their loyalty with lowered transaction fees while also carrying its own value in tradable pairs against popular currencies. The hope was to bring greater value to Huobi’s millions of users, mostly located in Asian countries. The launch of the Huobi Token follows in the footsteps of other loyalty-building tokens that other exchanges have launched. The first and most successful of these tokens has been Binance Coin (BNB). The creation of BNB secured Binance’s place as the world’s leading exchange. It offered discounted trading fees in exchange for customer loyalty, primarily functioning as a loyalty rewards system.
Huobi officially announced its intentions to launch a new token on January 22, 2018. Over the course of 15 days, Huobi would distribute 300 million HT (60% of the total supply) to its pro users who purchased a discounted service package. Each morning, a new batch of HT would become available on a first come, first served basis. Huobi declared this token distribution scheme, “not an ICO,” due to the nature of the offering. Users are buying a specific service package, part of which includes HT that give a discount toward trading fees. The exchange launched the Huobi Token as part of an overall strategy to recover its user base after tightening regulations in China severely restricted cryptocurrency trading. In an interview with CoinDesk, Leon Li, Huobi’s founder, revealed that Chinese rule changes had decimated the trading volume on Huobi by 95% between September 15 and November 1, 2017.
The HT token distribution began on January 24 and wrapped up on February 7, 2018. Each day of the distribution, millions of tokens sold out in mere minutes after going on sale. At that point, 300 million HT had been distributed to Huobi Pro members who bought packages. That’s 60% of the total supply currently in public circulation. Another 200 million HT, 40% of the total supply, was set aside. 20% goes toward user rewards and platform operation. The other 20% is vested for four years and constitutes the team reward.
Huobi isn’t the first exchange to issue its own token. Binance (BNB), Bibox (BIX), KuCoin (KCS) and Coss (COSS) have all issued their own tokens as well.