Huobi, Poloniex announced strategic partnership despite initial denials of a merger

Huobi and Poloniex announced a strategic partnership on Nov. 30. Reports of a planned merger of the two cryptocurrency exchanges emerged and were denied last week. 

The two exchanges will “progressively cooperate” on Huobi’s HT coin ecosystem development, connectivity, liquidity sharing and global compliance. Beginning in December, the Huobi Advisory Board will make a monthly evaluation of all Poloniex projects, with top performers potentially directly listed on Huobi, the exchange stated.

Talk of a merger began with a tweet from Wu Blockchain. Poloniex is by far the larger of the two exchanges. It is not available to U.S. users.

The Chinese exchange has seen a number of changes this year. It launched an investment arm in June. Cofounder Leon Li reported in August to be selling his share. Hong Kong-based About Capital bought a controlling share in Huobi in October. Earlier in November, it denied reports of widespread layoffs and resignations.

Huobi is reportedly planning to relocate its headquarters to the Dominican Republic.

On the same day as the merger announcement, Huobi said it was creating an upgraded affiliates program for influencers, offering Spot commission up to 50% and futures commission up to 60%.

Related: Dominica works with Huobi for digital identity program

Poloniex reached a $10-million settlement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly selling unregistered securities last year, in a case that was later criticized by Congressman Brad Sherman, a prominent crypto skeptic, as an example of the agency going after “small fish” in its enforcement efforts. Polonium was blocked by South Korean regulators in June.