Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a controversial marketing move — the firm is rebranding from “Huobi” to “HTX,” echoing the name of the bankrupt exchange FTX.
Huobi officially announced its rebranding on Sept. 13, renaming the company to the new global brand, HTX. The new naming stands for the first letters of Huobi, Justin Sun’s blockchain project Tron and “X,” which symbolizes the exchange.
Another interpretation of the HTX name may also include “HT,” which stands for Huobi’s native token Huobi (HT). X may be interpreted as the Roman numeral for 10, which pays tributes to the company’s 10th anniversary. The new slogan of the firm is: “HTX, Just Trade It.”
Before officially announcing the news, Huobi renamed its social media accounts to reflect the new name. Huobi’s X account (formerly Twitter) is now named HTX_Global, while its official Telegram group is named HTX Global Official. Huobi’s domain still reflects the original Huobi name at the time of writing.
The new name of Huobi has quickly triggered some attention on social media. Many have questioned whether the new name has anything to do with FTX, the now-defunct exchange whose founder Sam Bankman-Fried is now facing a total of 13 charges relating to fraud.
“What’s up with Huobi becoming HTX? I think it’s giving me FTX vibes,” one cryptocurrency observer wrote on X.
“Is this supposed to be a joke? FTX to HTX? That’s the first thing everyone will think,” another X user argued, expressing confusion why a brand would have taken such a name after FTX’s collapse in 2022.
Huobi is not the first company to borrow a part of its name from the troubled FTX though. In January 2023, the founders of the collapsed cryptocurrency hedge fund, Three Arrows Capital, or 3AC, announced a plan to raise $25 million for a proposed crypto exchange called GTX. Per their pitch deck, “because G comes after F,” pun intended with the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.
Some cryptocurrency observers also argued that Huobi was renamed to HTX “after getting into legal trouble.” It appears to be unclear what legal troubles were implied as the exchange has been denying any issues recently. Huobi specifically denied reports suggesting that the firm was close to insolvency and also had some of its senior executives arrested by Chinese police in early August.
Previously, Huobi Global was also ordered to close its operations in Malaysia following an enforcement action from the country’s securities regulator in May 2023.
Huobi did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request to comment.