Listing ICOs on Exchanges Is a Lucrative Business
Cryptocurrency exchange platforms are charging up to USD 1 million per initial coin offering (ICO) to list tokens, according to multiple industry sources known to Business Insider.
Some half a dozen market participants said that some exchanges are charging anywhere between USD 50,000 to USD 1 million to get their tokens listed - higher than the cost to list on most stock exchanges, the mainstream equivalent. No names of the exchanges were provided, as the participants were afraid of falling foul of them in another show of the power imbalance.
Michael Jackson, a partner at venture capital firm Mangrove Partners, said, “Basically there are a lot of people who want their coins listed. The exchanges are where the liquidity is — it's where the money is — so that's where the power is just at the moment.”
Oliver Bussmann, running a Swiss fintech advisory firm, said, "If you prepare for an ICO, you have to prepare for a listing. It's important to get access to liquidity. That means the bigger the exchange is, the more effort and also more cost to get listed."
However, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of an exchange Binance, questioned these numbers, and also defended listing fees:
Are the numbers correct? I though most investment banks charge 7% for just underwriting an IPO deal. Am I wrong? Anyone know the numbers top ibanks chargeD for famous IPOs that have already happened? https://t.co/0w1FJerpFM— CZ (not giving crypto away) (@cz_binance) March 12, 2018
Exchanges such as Bittrex and Bitfinex assert that they do not charge a listing fee, though some people question this. With exchanges requiring ICOs to sign highly restrictive non-disclosure agreements before token listing can even be discussed, firm figures are hard to come by.