Huobi Global, presently the world’s 2nd-leading cryptocurrency exchange by daily traded volume, has introduced a 24-hour token withdrawal delay for all OTC [Over-the-Counter] trades.
The decision strikes a blow to all or any Huobi users, a number of whom will moreover be prevented from withdrawing their tokens for as long as 36 hours if the exchange’s assessment system judges them to be at particularly high risk. Huobi has revealed that this move forms a part of its plan to “gradually introduce a variety of risk control strategies encompassing a bigger section of users.” It adds that it expects the delay to “effectively avoid user losses caused by the inflow of risky funds and encrypt the security of users’ assets.”
Moreover, Huobi had been implementing a narrower version of this measure since August last year, when it first imposed a token withdrawal delay of up to 36 hours on specific, higher-risk users.
The new, more comprehensive initiative seems to align squarely with Beijing’s ongoing and multi-pronged crackdown on the nation’s crypto investors, which has recently targeted the mining sector, banking services as well as cryptocurrencies-related online footprint. In response to those restrictions, an outsized volume of crypto trading within the country has shifted to the over-the-counter market, which is comparatively unregulated and ensures that the transfer of fiat currency doesn’t happen directly on exchanges’ trading desks.
High levels of activity on the over-the-counter market within regulatory clampdowns are a longtime pattern in China: earlier in 2017, when Beijing first took action against cryptocurrency exchanges, investors had similarly adapted by making the shift to OTC trades. Huobi itself primarily unrolled its OTC service earlier in Nov. 2017 amid a series of ever-tighter restrictions on crypto trading within the country.