Huobi, one of China’s former ‘big three’ exchanges, has launched the issuance of its own token while insisting that it isn’t an ICO.

Beijing-based cryptocurrency giant Huobi has announced the launch of its own token, dubbed ‘Huobi Token (HT)’ today. The utility token is based on the Ethereum blockchain’s ERC-20 standard and will be capped at 500 million tokens. ‘Huobi Token, short for “HT”, is a token system based on Blockchain launching and management,’ Huobi explained in a post on its website.

Details from the announcement reveal 300 million (60%) HT will be available for sale to investors, over a 15-day period. A further 100 million tokens (20%) will be used for platform operations and user rewards whereas the remaining 100 million tokens will be reserved for team incentives.

In a related press release, the exchange insisted that the offering isn’t an ICO open to all investors. The 300 million HT will instead be offered only to users purchasing a ‘Point Package’, essentially a pre-paid card package on its Huobi Pro platform using the dollar-pegged tether token (USDT).

An excerpt from the announcement read:

HT is not an initial coin offering (ICO). Users can only get HT by purchasing ‘Point Card’ on Huobi Pro. Point Card is Huobi’s pre-paid card for basic service charge. 1 point = 1 USDT.

Huobi Tokens, which will presumably serve as an asset for exchange at Huobi’s several exchanges globally, will be available for trading with tether, bitcoin and ethereum from February 1.

Furthermore, Huobi also insists that it will buy back Huobi Tokens from the open market with 20% of its net income, putting a ‘certain proportion’ of the tokens to the Huobi Investor Protection Fund, a reserve to compensate and safeguard investors against market volatility and losses.

Huobi was among China’s biggest cryptocurrency trading platforms prior to crippling domestic regulations that effectively curtailed the industry. After closing its Chinese trading platform in October, Huobi founder Leon Li summed up China’s curtain call as a “watershed moment” for the industry before launching Huobi Pro, its international trading platform headquartered in Singapore.

Huobi’s announcement to offer its own token is yet another step in the former Chinese exchange giant’s diversification strategy, which includes an expansion into major cryptocurrency markets in South Korea and Japan.

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