The popular cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has announced that it has officially launched its services in the country of Japan. In a celebratory tweet, Huobi’s Japanese division wrote on January 8th:

Additionally, the Japanese division of the cryptocurrency exchange has already informed its users that trading will begin on January 8th. To celebrate the launch, the exchange will initiate a campaign, giving Ripple (XRP) worth 500 yen (roughly around $4.60) to any new accounts.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, Huobi is currently the 7th largest cryptocurrency exchange by means of trading volume. In late December 2018, the South China Morning Post reported that the company is “optimizing staffing” by cutting some of its worst-performing employees, citing a Huobi Group Spokeswoman.

She also added that the company is still hiring people for emerging markets and core businesses. However, it’s noteworthy that the layoffs take place amid a prolonged bear market as 2018 saw around $700 billion wiped off the cryptocurrency market.

In October, Huobi launched a new interchangeable stable coin called the “HUSD.” Unlike other stable coins, the HUSD is interchangeable. The official announcement explains:

“For example, when you deposit 1 PAX, it will show as 1 HUSD in your account, and you can withdraw 1 TUSD (not considering transaction fees on the blockchain).”

About Huobi

Being the 7th largest cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi was founded in 2013 and reportedly became the leading digital asset trading platform in China at that time. The company has seen investments from major corporations such as Sequoia Capital.

The exchange has offices in several countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and is operating in over 130 countries.

In November 2018 CryptoPotato interviewed the Head of Business Development & Investment in North America for Huobi’s Global Ecosystem Fund. The cryptocurrency exchange has marked the US as its next target for expansion.

*This post is credited to CryptoPotato

Hong Kong-based digital asset exchange OKEx, and Singapore-headquartered crypto exchange Huobi Global will be supporting the upcoming ethereum (ETH) Constantinople hard fork upgrade.

As CryptoGlobe reported in December 2018, Ethereum’s development team said that Constantinople would go live between January 14 and 18. Consisting of five different ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs), the Constantinople update will reduce miner rewards from 3 ETH to 2 ETH, and make other fundamental changes to the network’s codebase – which are aimed at improving the overall efficiency of the Ethereum blockchain.

In a press release shared with Cointelegraph, OKEx’s management team noted that the exchange would be taking a snapshot of all its accounts at block height 7,080,000, the point at which Ethereum’s developers have decided to activate Constantinople. OKEx has asked all its customers to deposit their ETH tokens on the exchange’s trading platform as it will manage the technical requirements for Ethereum’s network upgrade.

Handling All Technical Requirements

Huobi will also support the Constantinople update as the cryptoasset exchange operator has advised its clients to deposit their ETH holdings onto its platform. Similar to OKEx, Huobi’s team will be managing all technical issues related to Ethereum’s hard fork.

As the world’s first smart contract-enabled decentralized application (dApp) development platform, Ethereum’s Constantinople upgrade is aimed at helping it gradually transition from the current proof-of-work (PoW)-based consensus system to a proof-of-stake (PoS)-based network management protocol.

Once the backwards-incompatible Constantinople upgrade has been activated, the Ethereum network’s transaction validating nodes will all have to update synchronically with the cryptocurrency platform’s blockchain. Notably, Ethereum’s core developers are also considering using a new type of proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm called “ProgPoW” which is designed to improve the efficiency of GPU-based mining on the network.

Replacing Ethereum’s Current PoW

As a standalone (independent) and system-wide update, programmatic PoW has been designed to prevent ether miners from using specialized mining hardware such as high-end ASICs. This should give all the network’s participants an equal opportunity to mine blocks . During the next bi-weekly meeting (on January 18) between Ethereum’s developers, the team might announce if/when they will be activating ProgPoW.

As CryptoGlobe reported on January 3, Malta-based crypto exchange Binance has announced it will be supporting Ethereum’s Constantinople update. Via an announcement on its official Binance website, the cryptocurrrency exchange stated it will be handling “all technical requirements” related to the hard fork . Although it likely won’t happen, there’s still a possibility that a group of network validators could choose not to support Constantinople. This would result in two separate blockchain networks and coins (after the fork).

No Visible Changes To End Users

If there’s a chain split and/or airdrops are conducted during the hard fork, Binance has requested projects to contact its support team in order to discuss how to manage the process. Presumably, the exchange company might look into whether it’ll list any new tokens created, and how it may safely conduct airdrops

As noted by Ethereum’s core developers, the Constantinople hard fork will not feature many visible changes for end users. It’s reportedly a “maintenance and optimization upgrade” aimed at changing Ethereum’s economic policy while also postponing its difficulty bomb, which will activate its “Ice Age.”

Ethereum’s native token ether (ETH) is up 0.71% in the past 24 hours and is currently trading at $157.52, according to CryptoCompare data. The cryptocurrency’s price has surged over 80% after recording a low of $82 in December 2018.

*This post is credited to CryptoGlobe

Huobi Pool, Huobi Group’s cryptocurrency mining arm, will launch a EOS-dedicated cryptocurrency exchange in Q1 2019, the company said last week. The new exchange will allow users to trade EOS against “a number of other cryptocurrencies.”

Cao Fei, CEO of Huobi Pool, said launching an EOS exchange “is simply the next logical step in our support” as an EOS super node.

Huobi Pool said it has been working closely with the EOS community since the launch of the business earlier this year. Among other initiatives, it collaborated with other block producers to build an EOS test chain, the Crypto Kylin Testnet, where EOS-based projects can be tested. Huobi Pool also developed a voting platform for EOS holders and set up an EOS community to make holders more aware of node elections.

EOS is the native cryptocurrency of the EOSIO blockhain protocol. EOSIO operates as a smart contract platform and decentralized operating system intended for the deployment of industrial-scale decentralized applications through a decentralized autonomous corporation model. The smart contract platform claims to eliminate transaction fees and also conduct millions of transactions per second.

Block.one, a company registered in the Cayman Islands, is the developer of EOSIO. In June 2018, the company raised US$4 billion in the world’s largest initial coin offering (ICO) to fund the development of the platform.

Singapore-headquartered Huobi operates the third largest cryptocurrency exchange, handling around half-a-million dollars worth of trades every day, according to data from Coinmarketcap. It recently added EOS contracts on its derivatives platform Huobi Derivative Market.

The announcement of the EOS-dedicated cryptocurrency exchange comes at a time when Huobi is actively expanding its ecosystem. Last week, it announced the release of the whitepaper for Huobi Chain, a public blockchain project focused on security, transparency and fast and high frequency transactions, the company claims.

Huobi has also been expanding into other geographical markets including Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Canada.

Earlier this month, the company was granted a full Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) license by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC).

Lester Haoda Li, the head of Huobi’s global institutional business based in the company’s London office, said:

“Our Gibraltar DLT license will allow us to open a fully-regulated exchange for our global institutional clients and retail clients alike, so this is a big win for Huobi and a very positive step forward for our global strategy.

“Among other benefits, our DLT license will allow us to open doors to more institutional investors who were previously unable or unwilling to get involved in an unregulated sphere”.

*This post is credited to Coin Journal

Huobi’s Derivatives Market Includes EOS Starting Now

The third largest crypto company in the world, Huobi, has now announced that its derivative market will start to support EOS. The information was originally released via an official press release. At the moment, Huobi has a volume of over $500 million USD daily and it is the third largest company in its niche.

Now, traders can take both short and long positions using the EOS tokens. Huobi took this decision as a way to address the demands of the clients, which wanted more markets to invest in and EOS is a good asset.

The information is that the contracts will support price, position and order limits of up to 20 times leverage. The fees, the report indicates, will be only 0.02% for makers and then 0.03% for takers. Fees have to be paid when the investors open and close their positions.

Users will be able to use contracts to purchase and sell EOS at predetermined prices in the future, which lets they bet on the market and benefit (or lose) from the trends.

Huobi’s official announcement of this market happened at Cryptofrontiers, a crypto conference that happened in New York last month. At the time, it was affirmed that the markets would be available until the end of the year.

At the moment, EOS is trading around $2.35 USD on a little downtrend, which follows the whole market as it loses value after a short bull run led by Bitcoin this week.

Other Companies Plan Derivatives

Other major companies like OKEx, the second largest crypto exchange in the world now, have also launched their new derivatives products. The newest one in OKEx is the Perpetual Swap, which is a virtual derivative that was created to let the users bet on the future of the Bitcoin price. The swaps do not have expiration dates and can be held forever, though.

The second largest stock exchange in the world, NASDAQ, has also plans to release Bitcoin derivatives. This, however, will only happen in 2019.

*This post is credited to Bitcoin Exchange Guide

Two of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency companies have confirmed lay-off plans amid an industry crunch that has seen US$170 billion wiped off bitcoin’s market value this year.

Beijing-based Bitmain Technology, the world’s biggest maker of cryptocurrency mining rigs, said in a statement that the company is undergoing “some adjustment to our staff this year” as it continues to build a sustainable business, following reports on Chinese social media that it was planning job cuts.

“A part of that is having to really focus on things that are core to that mission and not things that are auxiliary. As we move into the new year we will continue to double down on hiring the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds,” said Bitmain in the statement.

A Bitmain spokesman on Wednesday denied rumours on Chinese social media that the company will lay off more than half of its employees, but declined to specify exactly how many lay-offs are planned.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Huobi Group, operator of one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, said on Wednesday that the company is “optimising staffing” by cutting its worst-performing employees. But she added that the Beijing-based firm is still hiring people for its core businesses and emerging markets.

The planned lay-offs come amid a prolonged bear market in cryptocurrencies. This year bitcoin, the world’s biggest form of digital money, has fallen more than 70 per cent in value. In total, nearly US$500 billion has been wiped off the value of the more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies available in the market.

Both companies declined to quantify the number of job losses planned. By the end of June, Bitmain had a total of 2,594 full-time employees including some 840 engineers, according to a company filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Huobi has more than 1,000 employees.

Earlier this month Bitmain closed its research center in Israel, which had over 20 staffers.

The actions by Bitmain and Huobi follow similar moves by other industry players such as blockchain-based social network Steemit as well as ConsenSys, a software production studio, which is letting go of 13 per cent of its 1,000-strong staff globally.

A Beijing-based Bitmain employee, who asked not to be identified because the information is not public, said the lay-offs will be spread across most of Bitmain’s divisions, but the person was not aware of the exact number of planned job losses.

Chinese companies Bitmain, Canaan, and Ebang – the world’s top three suppliers of computers used to create new units of digital money – have all proposed initial public offerings in Hong Kong this year. The city’s market regulator and stock exchange operator, however, are reluctant to approve IPOs for any cryptocurrency-related businesses citing the lack of regulations in the industry, according to an earlier news story citing people familiar with the situation.

Canaan has let its IPO application lapse. Last week Ebang refiled its application with updated financial information stating that it has seen “significant decreases” in revenue and gross profit in the third quarter.

“Downsizing is a natural cycle in new, rapid growth industries, and unfortunately blockchain is no exception,” said Jehan Chu, co-founder of Hong Kong-based blockchain investment firm Kenetic Capital, who declined to comment on his company’s hiring plans.

“We saw this with the internet in the early 2000s, but that period also gave rise to the largest companies in the space today. I look forward to a sharper, more focused version 2.0 of the blockchain industry,” he said.

*This post is credited to SCMP

The newer HBUS cryptocurrency exchange has taken its message to the streets with a new billboard campaign.

According to a blog post by the exchange themselves, they are the first in the nation to do this, and we find nothing to the contrary. However, there have been other Bitcoin-related billboard campaigns, like the one Genesis Mining ran to troll Warren Buffet.

First Exchange in the US to Do Billboard Campaign

The billboard slogan is “Evolved Crypto Trading” and pokes fun at Coinbase and Wall Street, illustrating that they are less evolved than HBUS. Wall Street is depicted as the primate level of crypto trading while Coinbase is shown as Homo erectus.

HBUS is the exclusive US partner of Huobi, a massive Asian exchange which consistently finds itself in the global top 10 by volume. At time of writing, it was 4th over the last 24 hours. HBUS had done almost $400,000 over the past 24 hours at time of writing. To stimulate trading on the exchange, they are eliminating trading fees for the remainder of the year.

No Fees For The Rest of 2018

We decided to launch this campaign, because no U.S.-based digital currency exchange has done a campaign like this before. The industry has seen its share of “online” gimmicks and we just wanted to get back to some of the basics of advertising that continue to play a major role in brand awareness and credibility. San Francisco is at the heart of the technological revolution and of technological “evolution”.

Crypto is in desperate need of a revitalization in trading. Many smaller traders have been washed out by the downturn that’s taken place throughout 2018. As HBUS CEO Frank Fru says:

There’s no question that digital assets have taken its share of hits this year. We wanted to give crypto traders a break when it comes to the high fees they regularly have to pay when trading on other exchanges. It’s time American traders are given freedom and more options when it comes to what they want to buy when it comes to digital assets.

HBUS does not have the full range that some exchanges, like Montana-based Poloniex, which is owned by Arizona-based Circle, but if traders are able to take advantage of it without paying fees, there’s certainly a benefit to that. The exchange does have a variety of markets including all of the major pairs that people look for. No word yet on what Coinbase, also based in San Francisco, will do in response.

*This post is credited to CCN

Huobi Group has created a Communist Party committee, making it the first blockchain based company to do so in China, the South China Morning Post reports.

The committee was created through a Huobi subsidiary called Beijing Lianhuo Information Service, which was registered as a business earlier this year, owned by Li Lin, the founder of Huobi. Lin praised the launch of the committee, referring to it as a milestone for the company, hailing the Communists party for its friendly policies towards the blockchain industry, where Huobi has several businesses operating out of mainland China.

“Under the cordial care of the Party Working Committee of Haidian, the party branch of the Beijing Lianhuo Information Service Ltd. was gloriously established,” Lin added.

A party official from the same district where Huobi’s blockchain operation is based, Cao Zhou warned the new branch on the role it has to play, stating:

“We must enhance the party’s political leadership, and carry out the party’s principles and policies in private enterprises.”

The laws of the Communist Party makes it compulsory for enterprises, particularly the state-owned companies, with at least three Communist Party members as employees, to set up a branch of the Party. While this directive doesn’t extend to private firms, a couple of privately held companies have begun launching party committees in recent times as they seek new ways to form deeper ties with the government. Huobi follows in the footsteps of other private firms that have created a committee, including Tencent and Alibaba Group.

The Chinese government has been friendly to blockchain while holding an anti-crypto stance. The Communist party had put a blanket ban on crypto earlier last year, leading to an exodus of cryptocurrency exchanges to neighboring Asian countries.

Huobi Group’s digital asset platform, of the same name, was one of such firms that fled China before settling into Singapore, where it now operates. The Communist Party also issued warnings to private venues and other relaxation sports in China, advising them not to take on crypto-related events.

Earlier this year, WeChat and Alipay were forced to close the accounts of cryptocurrency based merchants, due to a state order.

*This post is credited to CCN

Singapore-based digital asset exchange, Huobi, which is reportedly processing $1 billion in trades daily, has opened a new office Russia.

New Office, Website To Officially Open On November 12th

Huobi, which recently became a publicly listed company in Hong Kong, announced (during a St Petersburg conference) that it would officially open its Russia-based office on November 12th.

In order to make its services more accessible to the country’s residents, Huobi will be launching a Russian language website. Similar to Huobi’s other websites, the new site will have online support and a dedicated call center.

Presumably as an extension to its blockchain startup incubator program (Huobi Labs), Huobi will provide an online support center specifically for Russian firms looking to enter the crypto space.

Collaborating With Russia’s “Top 10” Universities

Notably, Huobi’s support center for Russian startups is being launched through a partnership with the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (a “top 10” Moscow-based public research university) and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (an academic institution run by Russia’s foreign ministry).

In September, Huobi had joined the Moscow-based VEB Innovation Fund – which is a venture capital-funded financial services platform that focuses on investing in “high technology projects.”

Founded in 2011, the VEB Fund aims to provide local startups the financial resources they need to develop their products.

Huobi Now Lists More Stablecoins

Established first in China, Huobi shifted its operations to other locations after the Chinese government began its crack down on cryptocurrency-related businesses. At present, Huobi has registered offices in Singapore, South Korea, London, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Dubai.

Similar to how many crypto exchanges first started, Huobi only supported bitcoin (BTC) trading back in 2013. However, when crypto prices started to increase significantly last year, Huobi began listing more digital currencies on its trading platform.

After heightened fears regarding controversial stablecoin, Tether’s (USDT) operations, Huobi and many other exchanges have started listing other stablecoins. At present, Huobi lists the following USD-backed coins: Paxos Standard (PAX), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), and Gemini Dollars (GUSD).

Huobi Accused Of “Mutual Voting”

In April 2018, Huobi Pro announced its plan to become a block producer (transaction validator) for the EOS platform. In October, a leaked document appeared to show that Huobi had been taking part in mutual and coordinated voting, when electing other block producers.

Although Huobi denied being involved in the incident, critics of the delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism (which EOS uses), such as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, have said that “it was completely predictable [because] … human capacity for eternal vigilance is limited.”

*This post is credited to Crypto Globe

China’s first blockchain pilot zone officially opened in Haikou, Hainan on Monday, Xinhua reports.

Its site is the Hainan Resort Software Community, which has launched a blockchain research institute in cooperation with Oxford University’s blockchain research center. The software community is also setting up an innovation center in partnership with China’s Renmin University.

The zone’s scope will cover more than research, however. According to the head of Hainan Province’s department of industry and internet technology, Wang Jing, “[the] pilot zone will commit to attracting blockchain talent around the world and exploring the application of blockchain in areas such as cross-border trade, inclusive finance, and credit rating.”

Several China’s tech players have already moved to Hainan and set up blockchain-related divisions. AI and search engine giant Baidu registered subsidiary Dulian Internet Technology in the island province back in August. Although Baidu hasn’t specified whether it will belong to the blockchain pilot zone, Dulian will specialize in blockchain tech development as well as online games.

China’s government is harnessing its data to make blockchain-based identity a reality

Global crypto exchange company Huobi—which recently completed a backdoor listing in Hong Kong—is also planning to set up a blockchain research lab in Hainan, according to an April 30 press release. The lab initiated with Tianya Community is scheduled to be completed before the end of this year. According to the release, Huobi’s plan is to move its domestic headquarters to the Haikou pilot zone, set up a blockchain incubator, and create “a billion-dollar global blockchain industry fund.” Huobi is currently operating only in a consulting and research capacity in China due to China’s infamous crypto crackdown.

Aside from Baidu and Huobi, NASDAQ-listed Xunlei—which launched its ThunderChain this past April—and 360 Blockchain Security which falls under China’s top cybersecurity company Qihoo’s 360 will also set up office in the new zone, local media reported.

Hainan is not the only Chinese province included in China’s national plan to make rapid advancement in the field of blockchain. Shenzhen launched its first venture capital fund of RMB 500 million on April 24 to focus on blockchain firms, about 2 weeks after the Hangzhou government invested in a $1.6 billion blockchain fund. China’s southeastern coastal province Fujian also announced a regional policy encouraging companies adopt blockchain technology during the same month.

At the Trusted Blockchain Summit 2018 held in Beijing earlier this month, emphasis on blockchain as was reaffirmed by the Ministry of Industry and Internet Technology’s chief economist, Wang Xinzhe. According to Wang, blockchain technology is important for the country as a whole, and the ministry will seek to support innovation and improve policies, among other things, in order to speed domestic growth.

*This post is credited to TechNode

In the latest escalation of an ongoing war of words, the New York State attorney general warned that the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange might be breaking the law.

In a lengthy report on the “integrity” of global cryptocurrency exchanges, newly appointed attorney general Barbara Underwood listed San Francisco-based Kraken among multiple exchanges that might be operating “unlawfully.”

However, following an impassioned and very public refusal by Kraken’s CEO to participate in the report, the warning appears to be based as much on lack of access as any legitimate concern.

From the report:

“Customers should be aware that the platforms that refused to participate in the OAG’s Initiative (Binance, Gate.io, Huobi, and Kraken) may not disclose all order types offered to certain traders, some of which could preference those traders at the expense of others, and that the trading performance of other customers on those venues could be negatively affected as a result.”

A representative of the New York attorney said the office has referred three of these platforms—Binance, Gate.io, and Kraken—to the New York State Department of Financial Services “for possibly operating unlawfully in New York.”

While Kraken is probably the best known of the exchanges to U.S. users, with $133 million in daily volume, Binance is the largest exchange in the world, with $1 billion daily volume, and Huobi has $670 million in volume, according to CoinMarketCap data.

The report, formally titled the Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative report, included findings from nine other exchanges, including Bitfinex (operated by iFinex Inc.), bitFlyer USA, Inc., Bitstamp, Ltd., Bittrex, Inc., Coinbase, Inc., Gemini Trust Company, itBit (operated by Paxos Trust Company), and Poloniex (owned by Circle Internet Financial Limited).

The report targeted five areas: where the exchanges do business, their trading policies, how they manage conflicts of interest, security, and how they access consumer funds. After each section, the attorney general provided a warning that the above exchanges were not considered in the findings.

In the case of Kraken, which is among the oldest exchanges on the list, the reason for its refusal to participate has been made very clear. In August 2015 Kraken formally left the New York jurisdiction, citing concerns about the cost and reach of the state’s burgeoning BitLicense, which many argued was more onerous that even traditional financial regulation.

“It is a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth,” Kraken wrote at the time.

Then, in April 2018, Kraken founder Jesse Powell publicly refused to answer questions from the New York attorney general. “Having the requested information ‘on-hand’ is not the same as having the resources to compile it neatly to fit the framework of the request, within 2 weeks,” he tweeted.

In spite of Kraken’s refusal to participate, or perhaps because of it, the report concluded:

“Whether and where customers should trade virtual currencies depends upon the needs and experience of the individual customer. As a general matter, though, customers would do well to avoid platforms that cannot satisfactorily answer the questions posed in this Report.”

*This post is credited to Forbes