Huobi is a cryptocurrency exchange that provides traders with the ability to work with more than 200 cryptocurrency pairs, divided into 3 main markets: BTC, ETH and USDT. The largest turnover is in the Bitcoin market. The listing of the exchange contains the most popular cryptocurrencies in combination with the little-known forks.
While the size of the exchange and the reach are important considerations for the trader, the most important criteria comes down to the impact on their wallet. Exchange fees are sometimes what can make or break a traders experience and profitability.
To that end, Huobi’s fees seem to be some of the most reasonable and straightforward in the market. They operate in a similar way to a number of other exchanges in that they have maker / taker fee schedule.
What does this mean exactly?
Quite simply when you are a maker, you are adding liquidity to Huobi’s order books. This happens when you place a limit order that is below the most recent price for a buy and above the most recent price for a sell.
On the other hand, when you place an order and it is immediately matched, you are “taking” liquidity off of the books of Huobi and this means that you are a taker. You will have to pay the taker fee for doing so. These fees will be deducted from the total amount that you trade for BTC.
The fees themselves are pretty simple at 0.2% across the board for all assets for both the maker and the taker fee. This is actually quite low when you are to compare it to the likes of Bitstampwhich are at 0.25% or at Coinbase that has the fees at 1.49%.
Moreover, Huobi offers fee discounts for those traders who are part of their VIP trading group. For example, if you are member of the first level of VIP trading group you will get 10% off of your fees. This goes all the way down to 50% for those who are in the VIP5 level.
Huobi also applies what they term a “withdrawal fee”. However, what this is really is just the cryptocurrency network fee or “mining fee”. This is predetermined by Huobi but one hopes that it will vaguely track the actual cost of mining.
To give you a rough indication of these fees, here are the withdrawal fees (per request) of some of the top 10 coins in market cap.
Another thing that Huobi is well known for is the range of cryptocurrency assets that they offer. They appear to have a majority of coins in the top 10 of market cap expect it seems as if they do not have Stellar (XLM) and Cardano (ADA). Why these coins are not included is quite surprising.
However, they have at least 50 other coins that you can trade on the exchange. In fact, for a good few of these coins, Huoubi makes up a sizable chunk of the volume. This means that they have some really healthy order books and you will find the most liquidity on the exchange.
They also have a handy overview page where they take you through each coin with a fairly thorough description of the coin. They also provide you with a range of links to the project in question.
Huobi is one of those exchanges that you can use without handing over KYC documents in order to run an account. However, this means that they will place restrictions on the amount that you are allowed to withdraw within a period / time.
We were actually quite surprised at the Huobi withdrawal limits in that they were really restrictive. Below are the withdrawal limits per time and per day for the top 5 coins in market cap.
|Coin||Min Per Time||Max Per Time||Max Per Day|
So, if you are unverified you can only withdraw up to 0.1 BTC a time in a day. At current prices this implies that the user will only be able to withdraw $600 a day which is severely limiting for those people who would like to trade with larger amounts of coins.
Hence, if you think that this could be a problem for you then there are two options. One is that you could verify your account by completing the mandatory KYC requirements. The other is that you could use an exchange such as Binance which has withdrawal limits up to 2 BTC in a 24 hour period or HitBTC that does not have limits.
If you want to create an account and start trading at Huobi, then you should head over to their signup page. Huobi only requires a working email address in order to first create your account. You can see the signup form below.
We found it slightly weird that for an initial anonymous account that they required your nationality as no other exchanges require this. However, if you are going to be verifying then this does not really matter in the end.
Once you have completed the form they will send you an email with the verification code that you will need to use to log back in. Then Huobi has a really helpful beginner’s guide that will take you through everything on the platform.
They will highlight each of the exchange features and then give you a short overview of what they are exactly. We have not seen something like this in other exchanges and found it quite refreshing for those traders who are still trying to find their feet.
If you would prefer to verify your Huobi account and have your withdrawal limits drastically increased, then you will have to complete some KYC. In order to do this they will need some personal identification.
This is done by exchanges in order to prevent the threat from money laundering and is starting to become the norm with a number of exchanges requiring it as mandatory. While cryptocurrency users are naturally privacy conscious, one cannot see any easy way around this.
However, given the size and scope of Huobi, it is unlikely that they can ever do anything reckless with your personal documents. Hence, you are perhaps quite safe from a identity documentation perspective in sending your ID to Huobi.
Once you have submitted your verification to Huobi, they have to have someone to manually look over your documents. This means that it will take at least 24 hours to verify the documents. This is about in line with the other exchanges and is also what other traders are claiming in online forums.
Now that you have an account, one of the most important aspects of your trading experience is the Huobi exchange platform. It is very hard for an exchange to get a good balance between a very advanced platform that is still relatively easy to use for beginners.
We think that Huobi was able to achieve this quite well.
What you will notice when you first login is that you can select three different trading platforms between the Huobi OTC markets, the standard exchange and the margin trading exchange. Users can also select the HADAX platform which is where voting takes place for coin listings.
If you just want to buy / sell the cryptocurrency then you can select the Huobi pro exchange. This is the standard plain vanilla cryptocurrency exchange where you can place your orders and trade coins based on the balances in your wallet.
Taking a look at the exchange screenshot below, it seems as if it has everything that you could need from a trading platform. As you can see it has all of the markets laid out on the left. Here you can toggle between the coins that you want to trade.
Below the charts you have all the order books and buy / sell walls. You also have a breakdown of all the orders that were just placed as well as orders that you may have on the books. As with their coin overview page, you can also see a breakdown of the coin as well as helpful links at the bottom of the exchange.
In terms of the trading chart itself, this is a Trading View chart. This is third party technology but is some of the best on the market. You have all of the standard tools that you would need as a technical analyst or day trader.
In terms of the UI, there is also the option to change the currency that all of your balances are displayed in as well as the color of the UI. They have a dark color (as in screenshot) or light.
For those traders who like to trade on the margin, then Huobi has a separate platform for you to do just that. This is different from the other exchanges that will merely have a margin order form on the standard crypto exchange platform.
To access the margin platform, you will merely select the “Margin” tab in the header and this will open it up. As you can see, it looks very much the same as the standard exchange with the only addition being the margin management widget slightly above the order form.
In order to trade on the margin, you have to first make sure that you have margin funds in place as collateral for the trades. You can transfer this in by selecting the “transfer in” link in your balance widget just below your chart.
Once you have done this, you can now take out coins on a “loan”. You would head over to the margin management section on the exchange. Here you can take out a loan and settle others as well as monitor all of your margin positions.
In terms of the leverage that you are entitled to on the Huobi exchange, this will differ for each coin. But, for indicative purposes the leverage on BTC is 3X. This is lower than the leverage that is present on other exchanges. For example, leverage rates are 5X at Kraken and up to 100X at leverage at Bitmex.
However, it is still a relatively attractive way for you to enhance your returns with borrowed money. Once you have taken out the loan, you will charged an interest on the outstanding position. The daily rate of loaning USDT is 0.1% and the daily rate of loaning BCH, ETH, LTC, ETC, DASH, XRP, EOS, OMG, ZEC is 0.02%.
Before you can take any margin position on you need to make sure that you have the right amount of margin available in your account. This is the initial margin that they require and it is calculated as:
Initial Margin = (Tradable Balance)*(Loan Multiple - 1) - Total Borrowed Value
If you are going to be trading on margin, you need to be well aware of the risks. As you can tell, leverage is a double edged sword and you need to use it wisely. Markets can go against you and you can have your positions liquidated.
For those traders who would like to trade amongst themselves with Over the Counter (OTC trades) then they can make use of the OTC trading functionality on Huobi. This can be accessed in the header of the trading platform.
This is kind of like a local bitcoins version of the Huobi exchange. Here you can find dealers who would like to trade with you based on particular parameters like payment options, currency and amount. Huobi is not acting as the centralised market maker and you can arrange the transaction off exchange.
For example, when taking a look at the buyers who are interested in buying USDT with pounds (GBP) I got the following summary. As you can see there is someone who is looking to buy 1 USDT for 0.85.
If you wanted to trade a large of block of cryptocurrencies then you can place an order for a block trade. This is in all essence just a much larger OTC trade and a single order that is usually too large for most of he regular OTC traders.
So, should you use the Huobi OTC platform?
Well, when we logged on there were only 2 ads running for the USDT. There were no other orders placed on the OTC market. What this shows is that there is very little interest and liquidity. It also seems as if the local traders and OTC buyers are more willing to use other platforms.
The reputation of OTC exchanges such as Local Bitcoins, Local Monero and Local Bitcoin Cash is sufficient for most users.
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