Why ICO token does not appear on exchanges?

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The number of cryptocurrency exchanges has recently exceeded 350. It would seem that for each ICO token, a suitable exchange should be found. But, as the experience of many young projects has shown, obtaining an exchange listing without paying exorbitant fees is almost impossible. ICOs who do not wish to take risks can only accept the low liquidity of decentralized exchanges. Recent studies by ICOrating.com show the difficulties projects face listing their token on reputable exchanges – and these problems are not limited to listing fees.

Firstly, the project must successfully complete its ICO. If their tokens were not sold in the first place, even if the remainder is burned, the demand for tokens in the secondary markets will be low, and the exchange is unlikely to be interested.

Projects that have not reached hard-cap simply cannot afford stock listing, while many successful ICOs simply cannot afford it. The difference between the sums charged by exchanges is enormous: from 100,000 to 3 million US dollars for the largest and most liquid exchanges (it is alleged that Binance in some cases charges 7 million dollars.) In fairness, listing a new token is not as simple as it seems to many to traders.

Before the listing itself, the exchange must perform many tasks – due diligence is necessary so that the project does not turn out to be fraud. After all, if fraud is revealed, it can affect the reputation of the platform, as happened when the Centra project was declared fraud, which prompted Kucoin and Binance to hastily exclude it from their platforms. Due to the time required to perform various security checks and other administrative tasks, an average of 21 days is required to start trading ICO tokens. Some exchanges also insist that the token smart contract is checked for errors, which is understandable given their prevalence and potential seriousness.

Even after meeting all the ICO listing requirements, everything does not always go smoothly for ICOs. There were cases when exchanges delisted tokens without any warning. Regulatory pressure can also affect rumors. If there are rumors that a certain token can be marked as a stock, the exchange can get scared and delist it. Considering that recently added tokens can be pumped, dropped, and then left to die slowly. Although the project itself remains months before launch, it is not surprising that some ICOs are in no hurry to give their token to exchanges before they are beta tested and genuine demand for token.


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