Huobi Token Surges 75% as Tron Founder Justin Sun Calls for Empowering the Exchange Token

The Huobi token rose to a four-month high of $7.60 early Thursday.

AccessTimeIconOct 13, 2022 at 9:11 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 13, 2022 at 4:19 p.m. UTC

Investors who bargain-hunted Huobi token (HT) at 21-month lows a week ago may be laughing their way to the bank.

The native coin of China's once-popular crypto exchange Huobi Global has rallied over 70% since Monday, reaching a four-month high of $7.60, according to data sourced from charting platform TradingView.

Considering the broader market lull and lingering macroeconomic uncertainty, that's an impressive performance. And it has put HT on the pedestal as the best-performing above $1 billion market cap cryptocurrency of the past seven days.

The token has decoupled from the broader market, seemingly on optimism that it will play a central role in a plan to revitalize the Huobi exchange.

"We know that the key to revitalizing Huobi is to empower HT, and HT can only thrive on Huobi," Tron's founder Justin Sun tweeted Monday, announcing his membership on Huobi's global advisory board. "In the future, there will be many big moves around HT, including brand upgrade, heavy empowerment, and business cooperation."

Huobi token's daily price chart (TradingView, CoinDesk)
Huobi token's daily price chart (TradingView, CoinDesk)

During an appearance on Tuesday on CoinDesk's "First Mover" show, Sun said the HT token is central to Huobi's success, drawing parallels with Binance coin's (BNB) pivotal role in establishing Binance as the leading cryptocurrency exchange.

"The success of BNB really benefits the Binance platform. So, I think in terms of operations, we need to focus on HT," Sun said.

Additionally, the change of management and fresh capital infusion looks to have given wings to the battered HT token, which remains 81.77% down from its all-time high set in May, 2021.

Last Friday, the exchange announced it has agreed to sell its entire shareholding to Hong Kong-based About Capital Management. The news came after months of speculation that founder Leon Li was looking to sell his 60% stake in the exchange for at least $1 billion.

The 2013-founded Huobi ran into a rough patch last year after China put a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, taking a significant chunk of users away from the exchange. The exchange was reportedly mulling a 30% reduction in staff early this year to mitigate the loss in revenue due to the China crackdown.

Huobi, however, is confident about its prospects.

"Under new ownership, the exchange is plotting an international expansion and will receive an injection of sufficient capital in margin and risk provision fund," the official announcement said.

Ted Chen, the CEO of About Capital Management, called the Huobi acquisition a significant milestone for the industry, saying the exchange is still in its early stage of development and there remains tremendous room for growth.

At press time, Huobi was the world's eighth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volumes, according to data source CoinGecko.


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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.