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Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has created controversy while celebrating its 10th anniversary, all thanks to a marketing move that sees the firm rebrand from Huobi to HTX, echoing bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. 

The move did not go down well with large sections of the community, who were largely critical of the exercise. 

Huobi’s Controversial Rebranding 

Huobi announced the rebranding on the 13th of September, stating that the letter “H” represents the first letter of Huobi, “T” represents Justin Sun’s blockchain project Tron, and X represents the exchange itself. Another interpretation of HTX is that the letters “HT” stands for the Huobi token, the exchange’s native platform, while X is the Roman numeral for 10, paying tribute to the company’s 10th anniversary. Huobi stated in its announcement, 

“H” stands for Huobi, “T” represents TRON with a commitment to being all in TRON, and “X” stands for the exchange. Looking at HTX through the combination of HT and X, HT represents the native token of the platform, while X symbolizes the exchange. Hence, HTX is an exchange with its native token of HT. On the other hand, X is the Roman numeral for 10, which pays tribute to HTX’s 10th anniversary. It is a new era for the platform with synergy between HTX, TRON, and Poloniex. There is also a brand new slogan – “HTX, Just Trade It.”

The news was announced at TOKEN2049, which Huobi (HTX) was invited to attend. Others who attended the event included industry leaders such as Lido, Circle, Animoca Brands, Pantera Capital, Polygon, CertiK, and several others. 

Before announcing the news to the public, Huobi renamed all its social media accounts to reflect the rebranding. The exchange’s handle on X (formerly Twitter) is now changed to HTX_Global. Meanwhile, the official Telegram group has been rebranded to HTXglobalofficial. However, the website domain still reflects the original name of Huobi. 

HTX’s New Mission

According to the announcement, HTX’s mission is to build a metaverse-free port with a vision to achieve financial freedom for the planet’s 8 billion people. The announcement states that HTX is embarking on a growth strategy of global expansion, thriving ecosystem, wealth effect, and security and compliance. 

“HTX plans to expand business globally by venturing into new markets with promising prospects across various countries and regions while maintaining a balanced growth. HTX aims to keep ahead of the latest developments in the crypto market.”

Community Not Impressed 

Huobi’s rebranding saw considerable traction on social media, with several users left unimpressed with the exercise. Many users questioned the similarity with the bankrupt FTX exchange, which is currently in the middle of its bankruptcy proceedings. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is facing 13 charges related to fraud. One user posted about the rebranding on X, stating, 

“What’s up with Huobi becoming HTX? I think it’s giving me FTX vibes.”

Another user expressed confusion about why Huobi would fashion its name after FTX, given how the latter suffered a spectacular collapse that shocked the crypto ecosystem. 

“Is this supposed to be a joke? FTX to HTX? That’s the first thing everyone will think.”

Not The First Company To Borrow The FTX Name 

Huobi is not the first company to seemingly borrow a part of its name from the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange. In January 2023, the founders of the now-collapsed cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) announced a plan to raise $25 million for a proposed cryptocurrency exchange called GTX. In its pitch deck, they planned to use the name because ‘G’ comes after ‘F’ – according to them, it was a play on FTX and its bankruptcy. 

Meanwhile, other crypto observers have stated that Huobi rebranded itself after getting into legal trouble. However, it is unclear as to what these legal troubles were, as the exchange has consistently denied it is facing any legal issues. In early August, Huobi also had to deny several reports that claimed it was close to insolvency, and Chinese authorities had arrested its senior executives. 

Huobi had previously been ordered to shut operations in Malaysia after the exchange faced enforcement action from the country’s regulator. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.