Business 8 February 2019

Steve Kaaru

Huobi doubles its trading volume despite the crypto winter

The year 2018 will be remembered for the prolonged bear market in the crypto market. Many firms have gone out of businesses while others have had to scale down. However, one crypto exchange had its best year yet despite the crypto winter.

Based in Singapore, Huobi crypto exchange enjoyed a great year. It registered a 100 percent increase in trading volume, the exchange recently revealed. The firm’s CEO, Leon Li, did not disclose the specific numbers, however.

Currently, Huobi is ranked as the 16th largest crypto exchange globally. In the past 24 hours, it registered $251 million in trading volume. However, Huobi has consistently ranked in the top five exchanges with its 24-hour trading volume averaging over $500 million.

Li also revealed that the company has more than tripled its workforce in 2018. In early 2018, the exchange only had 400 employees. It has since then been on a hiring spree and currently, it has more than 1,300 employees.

This is in great contrast to many other crypto and blockchain firms that have had to lay off many of their workers. San Francisco, based crypto exchange Kraken has been one of the victims of the bear market. The exchange laid off close to 30 percent of its workforce as the bear market intensified. Shapeshift, yet another crypto exchange also laid off its employees last year. It’s CEO, Erik Voorhes, blamed the layoffs on the reduced trading volume and the need to adjust its strategy.

Just recently, we reported that Canadian exchange Coinsquare had laid off 40 of its 150 employees. The layoffs were also as a result of a reduced trading volume as well as a dip in investor interest. The Toronto-based exchange even laid off its CFO and COO.

Adapting To Survive

Li revealed that while the traditional exchange business was doing extremely well, Huobi had also diversified to weather the winter storm. Its over-the-counter trading desk has grown by leaps and bounds in such a short amount of time. According to Li, it has become one of the largest OTC platforms in the world.

The exchange also launched a crypto derivatives trading platform in November last year. This too has been a major success. Huobi revealed earlier this year that by December 31, the platform had registered $12 billion in trading volume. In mid-January, the platform hit the $20 billion mark.

Huobi’s key markets, Japan, South Korea and the United States, have also continued to register high volumes. In the U.S, its strategic partner, HBUS, recently rebranded to Huobi.com. Huobi partnered with HBUS last year in a bid to enter the very closely-monitored U.S market.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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