Huobi Global, once a Chinese cryptocurrency exchange but now describing itself as a “Leading Global Blockchain Asset Financial Service Provider,” is issuing a token this month – just don’t call it an ICO.
Supply of the Huobi Token, or HT, will be capped at 500 million, 300 million of which will be available for 15 days from 23rd January. It will run on the Ethereum blockchain though, once again, Huobi is keen to point out that is is not an ICO, despite looking, well, quite a lot like an ICO.
Free Tokens … at a Price
Crucially though, investors will not be able to buy HT. Not directly, anyway. Instead Huobi Pro will give it away for free… to people who have bought a different service from the company, the so-called Point Packages, where users pre-pay for service fees that, apparently, are otherwise free.
Founder of the Huobi Group, Leon Li, described to Coindesk how it would work. “If you purchase the 1,000 HT package, it will only cost USDT 990, and you will get 1,000 HT for free. HT can be used for offsetting the trading fees.“
Definitely not an ICO then.
According to Huobi, the HT “can be used in various ways.” In addition to the fee discount, HT holders will be privy to exclusive events, such as receiving newly launched coins.
HT will also be used on the platform as a way for holders to express their preferences, for instance by voting on new projects for Huobi’s consideration.
20% of any profits the platform achieves will be used to buy back HT and “allocated to Huobi Investor Protection Fund (HIPF) in a certain proportion.”
Huobi was one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in China before that country outlawed such activities back in September 2017. Of course, they outlawed ICOs too, which may explain Huobi’s insistence that whilst their token issue may look like an ICO, sounds like ICO and otherwise feel like an ICO, the one thing it isn’t, of course, is an ICO.