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Huobi Launches OTC Trading Desk

With blockchain week in  full swing, many projects and companies throughout the space have come armed to share major announcements and developments with the space. Among the most recent launches comes from top cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi.

At the “Breakfast with Huobi” meetup on the morning of May 14th in New York City, executives from Huobi Group, the company behind major exchange Huobi, shared some updates and expectations for different components of their crypto-finance ecosystem. Their stablecoin, HUSD, is being upgraded to HUSD 3.0, which will offer a number of new features- like futures trading and lending. HUSD is a stablecoin pegged to US$1 and backed by a market basket of other stablecoins in the space.

The most exciting announcement, however, is the launch of the Huobi OTC desk. Officially, the OTC (over-the-counter) desk launched yesterday,  May 13th. With the OTC desk, users can make fiat-to-crypto or crypto-to-crypto transactions with USD and several major cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, and XRP, to name a few. There are additional plans to incorporate EUR and GBP.

Separate from the peer-to-peer OTC Huobi platform, which works similarly to LocalBitcoins, the OTC desk is for high volume crypto traders. The minimum size required for use of the desk is US$100,000 or equivalent.

“OTC trading desks are proprietary principle-based traders that match supply and demand,” explains Jeff Adams of Huobi Canada. “Counterparty risk is a huge risk in OTC. We hope to launch a service that is both regulation friendly and highly capitalized,” he adds.

Adams, who presented this announcement, also emphasized the desire to provide a service that is flexible and accommodating to its users. Through his presentation persisted a focus on opening up to more cryptocurrencies that users are interested in trading, including smaller market cap coins that may not typically have the desired level of liquidity for these larger trades. “We’re really open to different cryptocurrencies. We’ll take smaller altcoins that have a lack of liquidity. Of course, you’ll have to take a discount.” He explained that the discount associated is likely worth it to traders looking to bypass illiquidity and protect themselves from slippage.

Huobi was under fire recently as one of many major exchanges reported to participate in the inflation of volume across their trading pairs. While not a primary offender of wash trading and fabricated volume, the reports alleged that a significant portion of Huobi’s BTC volume was inflated.

The exchange responded to the allegations with an initiative to clean up fake volume across the space. Earlier this month, they announced their role as a founding member of CoinMarketCap’s Data Accountability and Transparency Alliance (DATA). Through this alliance, Huobi will provide enhanced and in-depth trading and order book information to CMC. Additionally, they will lead discussion and share strategies with other members of DATA.

With a number of major corporations beginning to accept Bitcoin within the past week, the need for fiat on and off-ramps in the space is pertinent now, more than ever. Particularly if users can place over-the-counter trades on many of the smaller coins in the space, Huobi OTC Desk could be of great service to many.


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