Chinese Bitcoin exchange Huobi will make Ethereum (ETH) trading available to its customers, effective May 31, 2017. According to reports, the move was prompted by numerous requests from traders. At this point, however, it is unclear whether customers will be able to trade and withdraw the digital currency from the exchange, or whether the change will simply allow them to purchase and hold Ethereum.
Huobi is the first of the country’s “Big Three” cryptocurrency exchanges to facilitate Ethereum trading for its customers. The other two large exchanges, OKCoin and BTCC, have yet to offer the option to their users – though BTCC reportedly has plans to provide Ethereum Classic at some point in the near future. Given the level of competition between the major Chinese exchanges, it is likely that others will consider similar moves.
The decision comes at an opportune moment for traders in China, as Ethereum’s price has risen dramatically in recent weeks. In fact, as this article goes to press, the coin is currently valued at more than $225 – after having more than doubled its price in less than a month.
Experts will now be watching closely to see what impact the addition of Ethereum trading will have on the cryptocurrency ecosystem. With China’s exchanges losing some of their luster in recent months, the country’s trading volume has fallen behind that of the Japanese and Korean markets. It is still too early to determine whether adding the second-most valuable cryptocurrency in the world as a trading option can alter that dynamic.