An ICO has to end some time, but that doesn’t mean that the number of people interested in the project should fall. On the contrary, the more successful the mining is, the more potential token owners appear. How do you give them the opportunity to acquire the project’s cryptocurrency after the ICO has officially ended? Here exchanges come to the rescue. Listing a token on an exchange can increase its value by 15%–20%. For this reason, placing its cryptocurrency is one of the most important tasks for a company after carrying out the ICO.
Five months after the fund-raising, the Playkey token is available on seven exchanges with varying trading volumes. How do you work with the exchanges to make the token available for trading?
The first contact with the exchange is the most important. Competition in this area is enormous; more and more new tokens appear every day, and the chance to stand out from crowd is ever slimmer.
Some exchanges have a dedicated application form — for example, this one is from HitBTC, a top-10 exchange. Others don’t have an automated application system, and they ask for an email. As exchanges don’t always give a separate email address for token producers, sometimes they only make available a general email address. Still others seem, at first glance, to have no contact details at all. The first step, therefore, is to find the contact details of those responsible for listing tokens.
Usually advisers, whose importance we have spoken of many times, can help with this. It’s also possible to turn to partners for help — for example, Playkey has established useful links with several technology companies that have carried out ICOs. Finally, sometimes contact details can be found on specialist forums. It’s worth finding them even if you have filled out the form on the exchange website; that way it won’t be swamped by the wave of incoming proposals.
What should you write in the first instance? The main thing is to understand the interests of the exchange. Usually the opportunity to increase trading volumes and attract new participants to the ecosystem is important to them. This means you should tell them why the project’s token will be popular, and demonstrate that it has an interested audience that is ready to come to the exchange after the token. Exchanges usually value this according to the following criteria:
- The product. It’s important for the exchange representatives to understand that this is not a scam, so a working product or prototype will have the advantage. For example, Playkey refers to the fact that the cloud-based gaming platform has been running for four years and that we’ve already implemented part of the functionality of our decentralized platform — for example, we’re now working on the option to pay for game subscriptions with tokens. Alternatively, it’s worth explaining what stage work on your project has reached.
- The business model. The mechanism for the use of the token should be clear, and the problem that the introduction of blockchain and the product itself solves should be current. For instance, Playkey demonstrates the growing popularity of cloud-based gaming and how the decentralized service is helping to bring the industry to a new level.
- The audience. It’s important that the project has carried out a successful ICO and can show the number of token holders — for example, Playkey has more than 2,500. Active groups and threads on social networks and messaging apps also help, whether on general sites (Facebook, Telegram, WeChat, Reddit) or specialist ones (BitcoinTalk).
- Security. Many exchanges don’t deal with security tokens (essentially securities) because of the legislative difficulties, so they may sometimes require a legal opinion stating that the token doesn’t qualify as a security. It’s worth preparing this in advance.
The large exchanges have now reached a critical mass of various tokens, so they ask more questions and give greater attention to the quality of projects. Giving inadequate information when communicating with them may prove fatal. Smaller exchanges are still focused on quantity, but that doesn’t mean that they will accept projects that don’t pass fundamental selection criteria.
If all the exchange’s questions are answered and agreement is reached in principle, you need to be prepared to wait. There are two types of exchange — in some, placement costs money; in others, it’s essentially free (the project is paid for with some of its tokens). For this reason, the queue for exchanges that require a substantial sum to list tokens is usually shorter because not all projects have such resources available. There is, accordingly, a shorter wait time for the placement of tokens. It also depends on the volume of the exchange.
On average the process can take several weeks, but sometimes lasts more than a month. It’s difficult to speed it up because of the technical and organizational problems exchanges face. It is, however, possible to do a great deal of harm, especially if you pester the exchange with the question “when?” too frequently.
To avoid getting your users’ hopes up for nothing, it’s best to wait for a precise guarantee of a specific date from the exchange. Often the date is not known until the last minute, and besides, exchanges are opposed to giving updates on the progress of negotiations. For this reason it’s worth preparing an announcement in advance, so that you can notify your project audience within the first ten minutes of token placement.
Following this framework, Playkey has successfully reached agreement with seven exchanges:
You can’t relax after the token is launched on the exchange because that still doesn’t guarantee long-lasting and significant trading. The danger that, even after placement, it can be removed from the exchange grows ever greater. This is linked to the growth in popularity of exchanges: there are already too many tokens on them, and the time has come to put the situation in order. For example, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Bittrex, removed 82 tokens from its platform in March 2018.
The main reason for delisting is too low a volume of trading, as it’s not profitable for an exchange to support an unpopular token. Another important premise is the suspicion of fraud or of technical issues that could lead to security vulnerabilities. Finally, a token might be removed if after placement it’s recognized as a security after all and the exchange doesn’t support this type.
For this reason, an open dialogue with the exchange and an understanding of their interests is the best way to place your token and to survive any cryptocurrency purge.