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Chinese-Led Crypto Exchanges Huobi, OKEx Compete Head-On

Cryptocurrency exchanges Huobi and OKEx are head-to-head with each other in terms of trading bitcoin futures, derivatives contracts, and DeFi. Both are targeting the Chinese market, striving to bring more offerings to users.

Huobi Futures Launches Bitcoin Options

Huobi Futures, the crypto derivatives market of Huobi Group, has announced the launching of bitcoin (BTC) options for trading that will start from today, September 1 at 10:00 am (UTC).

Ciara Sun, Vice President of Global Business at Huobi Group said,

Our new options product was launched in response to market demand and this economic new reality.

Huobi’s BTC options are quoted in USDT and made available on a weekly, bi-weekly, and quarterly options. This new derivatives product is in line with the exchange’s goal of “giving users access to an options product backed by security and reliability.”

Earlier this year, Huobi Futures’ perpetual swaps were rolled out, giving traders more ways to create arbitrage and hedge risk in the crypto market. Amid the impact of the market meltdown during the first half of 2020, Huobi has reported a massive trading volume of $877.8 billion within the first six months of the year.

Even its recently-launched perpetual swap product has been an instant success. It had a trading volume of $21.65 billion in April. The following month it skyrocketed its value to over 3x at $79.5 billion.

In comparison, Huobi has been showing strong figures so far this year, establishing its dominance against OKEx.

Huobi and OKEx Trading Volumes (Q2 2020) (Source:
Huobi and OKEx Trading Volumes (Q2 2020) (Source:

As seen in the chart above, Huobi has managed to push new boundaries when it comes to futures trading volume. For coin-margined futures trading volume from April-June, Huobi was able to cross the $100-billion range in May.

Specifically looking at bitcoin contracts trading, Huobi has outperformed OKEx in BTC Weekly and Quarterly tradings. The exchange recorded more than double the trading volume of its competitor. When it comes to quarterly contacts, Huobi was again at the top in terms of volume. It managed to register twice the trading volume of OKEx for these contracts.

We can then infer that despite Huobi’s fairly new endeavors when it comes to derivatives and futures trading, it can race to the top with OKEx, known as one of the largest market shareholders for futures contracts.

Aside from this, Huobi is among the many crypto players that delved into the multibillion-dollar DeFi market. In fact, they have launched their own platform — Huobi DeFi Labs — for DeFi research, investment, and incubation for community members. As part of it, it formed a global DeFi alliance to establish universal protocol standards for DeFi projects. MakerDAO (MKR), Compound (COM), Nest (NEST), and dYdX (dYdX) are among its pioneer members.

OKEx Penetrates DeFi Space

Not allowing the DeFi craze to pass through, OKEx has launched its very own lending marketplace aiming to be the first hybrid lending aggregator of DeFi and CeFi.

On top of this, JUST (JST), Ren (REN), Band Protocol (BAND), Reserve Rights (RSR), Tellor (TRB), YFII.Finance (YFII), Nexus Mutual (wNXM), and (YFI) have been added to the exchange platform. Among these eight assets, YFI proves to be the most promising one at the moment after beating Bitcoin’s all-time high price and showing clear indications of a continuous bullish trend for the coming weeks.

OKEx CEO Jay Hao said:

OKEx has been keenly observing the DeFi market dynamics and trying our best to collaborate with high-quality innovative DeFi projects that show the most potential.

In addition to that, Hao encouraged the team to see many excellent projects emerging in the market. This indicates that the DeFi space is developing rapidly.

Before joining the so-called hottest trend in the crypto market, OKEx is known to be the leader of futures trading. Notably, Asian exchanges account for more than 95% of the futures volume in crypto, according to a report by Switzerland-based Blockchain Valley Ventures (BVV).

OKEx Total Trading Volume (June 2020) (Source:
OKEx Total Trading Volume (June 2020) (Source:

As you can see in the chart above, futures are still the most heavily-traded product on the exchange. This includes coin-margined contracts that saw higher volumes compared to USDT-margined contracts and other altcoins.

Moreover, according to crypto market data provider CryptoCompare, OKEx has maintained its status as one of the largest exchanges in terms of both spot and derivatives trading. Apart from this, the exchange’s BTC perpetual swap funding rates remain to be competitive among others.

With reduced funding rates, retail traders can enhance their profit strategies. Hao added that with a robust environment for trading in a volatile market, “[they] aim to provide traders with the safest and most appealing platform for trading perpetual swaps.”

For those who are not familiar, perpetual swap contracts have no expiry or settlement date. These contracts follow a margin-based spot market, hence trading close to the underlying reference price index. Traders who do not want to risk their way in the ever-changing rates of crypto assets can leverage these.

A Look into China’s Crypto and Blockchain Adoption

These Chinese-led exchanges have opened new fronts that show their healthy competition with one another. Both offer advanced options to their users as they look forward to a favored position within their home territory.

China is becoming a major player in blockchain innovation as it sets to introduce its own Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN) and establish a stablecoin support platform beginning in 2021. This is a progressive move as the emerging tech cold war between the country and the US is impending. Earlier this year, Chinese regulators discussed and approved regulations regarding the inheritance of cryptocurrencies within China.

As for Huobi and OKEx, their ‘crypto trading’ battle is merely a fight to have the upper hand; in terms of traders’ preferences and trust. As they continue to serve their users, they can expect a surge of support from the Chinese crypto users. Later on, even the government itself.

casseia perez

An aspiring journalist who spills her ideas in cryptocurrency and blockchain-related matters. With her background in Communication and Journalism, she is more inclined to write about reality than fiction.

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