Leon Li, CEO And Founder of Huobi Group, Reviews 2018 & Looks Ahead To 2019

What can users expect from Huobi Group in 2019? Increased attention to strategic projects like stablecoins and public chains plus a stronger focus on our core exchange businesses. Our Founder and CEO Leon Li looks ahead.

Dear Huobi community

Both the global economy and the blockchain industry experienced an unforgettable year in 2018. While this past year marked the fifth anniversary of Huobi Group’s founding, for many of you, it also marked your first step into the world of cryptocurrency. Thank you for taking your first steps with us.

Huobi, Leon Li
Leon Li, CEO And Founder of Huobi Group

For those who have been with Huobi for the past few years and have experienced the ups and downs of the previous cycles of the digital currency industry, you have my admiration, respect, and thanks. If you’ve experienced two cycles of this industry, it’s not just because of luck but also because you truly believe in it and choose to stay with it.

For the Huobi team, 2018 was pivotal. We accomplished many things but also learned many lessons.

Here are the achievements that I am most proud of:

  1. The exchange side of our business saw more activity than ever before in 2018. Huobi Global, our flagship exchange platform, experienced a 100% increase in trading volume over our 2017 numbers and Huobi OTC become one of the most traded OTC platforms in the world. On a similar note, Huobi Cloud, Huobi Group’s one-stop solutions provider for digital asset exchanges, established more than 100 partnerships in 2018 – an impressive feat, considering that this part of our business is just over six months old.
  2. Our local exchanges made major progress in key markets. In the United States, our strategic partner (formerly HBUS) obtained an MSB license, as well as MTL licenses in several states and rebranded its exchange under the Huobi name. In Japan, we obtained one of the first 17 cryptocurrency licenses ever issued there through our merger with BitTrade and relaunched the fully regulated Huobi Japan in January this year. In South Korea, after 10 months of hard work, we entered the market and became one of the top three exchanges. In addition, we obtained a controlling stake in a Hong Kong Main Board listed company through a merger and acquisition. Finally, we obtained a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) license from Gibraltar which allows us to provide compliant blockchain asset trading across Europe. All of these will help lay a solid foundation for our overall health in 2019.
  3. We have launched the product lines for our exchanges as well as completed the business layout of Huobi Global (OTC+ crypto to crypto + margin trading + crypto contract trading). We have done the same for our local exchanges in Japan and South Korea, as well as for Huobi Cloud. We now have the ability to cover the world through different strategies and products.
  4. Our cryptocurrency mining pool business, Huobi Pool, is already the most influential Distributed Proof of Stake (DPoS) mining pool around and is among the top ten Proof of Work (PoW) mining pools in the world. Like Huobi Cloud, this business is also less than a year old. As of December 31, 2018, Huobi Pool’s power exceeded 2000P.
  5. In addition to developing Huobi Chat, our messaging app for the blockchain era, we expanded support on Huobi Wallet, our multi-chain light wallet, to include 10 different currencies. We also invested in more than 60 blockchain projects, helping create clusters of blockchain industry , talent, and technology.
  6. Huobi Group’s headcount grew from 400 people at the beginning of 2018 to more than 1,300 people at the end, with 15 offices in 12 countries and regions.

As proud as we are of our accomplishments, we also realize that we – like the cryptocurrency industry as a whole – still have a very long journey ahead of us and many challenges to overcome.

First, the cryptocurrency exchange industry is already a fiercely competitive one and is only going to become more so in the future. In addition, new technology and new business models will continue to mean constant change, upheaval, and renewal. Blockchain companies that do not constantly push ahead and embrace innovation and improvement will be left behind.  Secondly, different regions and customers have different needs, desires, and face different local conditions. Any truly global company needs to keep this in mind if they hope to stay global.  Third, Huobi is possibly the largest blockchain company in the world, with one of the widest business scopes, and most geographically distributed workforce.

With this in mind, this is what the cryptocurrency and blockchain community can expect from us in 2019:

We will concentrate on the exchange side of our business and will reduce our investment in other areas. While maintaining Huobi Global’s status as a leading global exchange, we will continue to strengthen our efforts to promote the Huobi brand in the major markets of Japan, South Korea, and the United States. We will focus on optimizing compliance, specialization, and localization for these markets, and will establish extensive collaborations with other markets through Huobi Cloud.

We will continue to innovate, explore new technologies and business models, and continue to invest in strategic areas like Huobi Chat, public chains, and stablecoins. We will optimize the organization and personnel, improve business processes, and better implement strict corporate norms.

We remain strongly committed to the core company value we started Huobi with – namely, putting the user first in all things — and will continue to do so in 2019.

In 2013, Huobi Group was still very much a start-up company with a team of about a dozen people on what would be a road of hardships and challenges as well as triumphs and opportunities. By committing to our moto of “making finance more efficient and making wealth more accessible”, we have come a long, long way in the past few years. To all our customers who have travelled this journey with us – thank you once again. Your belief and support in Huobi has made all the difference.

While 2019 will be challenging, perhaps even more challenging than 2018, you have our commitment that we will continue to stick by the values that got us here. We will remain dedicated to serving users better, and continue to explore other new, innovative, and ground-breaking areas of digital asset and blockchain technology.


Leon Li