Huobi Asset Transparency Report Reveals $3.5B in Crypto Holdings

As of Nov. 12, there were 191.84 million Huobi tokens on the platform. The exchange has promised to perform a Merkle Tree Proof of Reserves audit with a third party within 30 days.

AccessTimeIconNov 13, 2022 at 6:04 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 13, 2022 at 12:48 p.m. UTC
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Huobi Global, once China's top crypto exchange, published an asset transparency report on Sunday to reassure users that its funds remain safe.

As of Nov. 12, there were 191.84 million Huobi token, or HT, ($900 million) on the platform along with 9.7 billion TRX, 820 million USDT, 274,000 ETH and 32,000 BTC, and several other coins, including ATOM, ADA, BCH, DOGE, DOT, MATIC, SHIB and ETC.

The total estimated value of reserves was $3.5 billion, the report said.

Huobi said HT tokens are not only held by the Huobi Global, but some of them are also held by Huobi Global’s users.

The revelation came days after FTX, formerly the third largest digital assets exchange by volume, imploded in response to a CoinDesk report that showed the exchange's sister company Alameda Research's balance sheet, was primarily made up of FTX's native token, FTT.

Since then, crypto exchanges worldwide have been scrambling to publish so-called proof of reserves to assure users that their funds aren't being channeled into other investments. On Nov. 10, leading crypto exchange Binance released the list of its cold wallets and reserves, disclosing $69 billion in crypto reserve.

"Huobi is acting now to disclose the balance details of our hot and cold wallets and make this disclosure a routine going forward," the exchange said in the report, adding that it performed a Merkle Tree Proof of Reserves audit early last month when the exchange's founder Leon Li sold his controller stake to About Capital.

Huobi promised to publish another Merkle Tree Proof of Reserves audit conducted by a third party within 30 days to boost user confidence further.

Under the Merkel Tree audit, an independent entity takes an anonymized snapshot of all crypto balances held by the exchange and aggregates them into a Merkel tree, a structure normally used to check the integrity of block data.

Huobi's disclosure, however, failed to calm market nerves. The HT token was recently trading at $4.8, down 8.9% over the last 24 hours, according to CoinDesk data.

The exchange reportedly saw an outflow of 10,000 ETH after it published the asset reserve report. Data from South Korea-based blockchain analytics firm CryptoQuant shows a total of 12,000 ETH ($15.14 million) have left Huobi in the past six hours.

Huobi said the outflow was part of routine operations. "The true situation is that the addresses we listed include some hot wallets;  the on-chain deposits and withdrawals are part of the normal operation.  The exchange is operating normally now," a spokesperson from Huobi's PR team told CoinDesk in an email.

The platform has the "ability and strength to ensure the safety of users' assets and 100% payment, and there is not and will not be any restrictions on users' withdrawal," the spokesperson added.

12:45 UTC: Edits the DEK and the third para to say there were 191.84 millions of HT on the platform. Adds Huobi's comment that some amount of HT is held by users. The previous version said Huobi held $900 million worth of its own HT token.

12:48 UTC: Adds Huobi's comments on ETH outflow in the last paragraph.


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Omkar Godbole

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

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