10 tips for getting a coin on Binance, from CEO Changpeng Zhao
Zhao highlights a little bit of what to do and a lot of what not to do.
Exchange listings are an important life stage of any growing cryptocurrency. This is when the ICO participants and developers are able to most profitably dump their holdings for a quick buck. From there, a coin on the open market can enjoy slowly sinking downwards until a humane coup de grâce in the form of an exit scam or SEC investigation puts it out of its misery.
Occasionally, prices will also go up and a project will succeed. Either way, an exchange listing is a highly desirable target for new cryptocurrencies, and the larger and higher profile the exchange is, the more potentially profitable it is.
Binance is one of the largest and highest-profile exchanges around, and Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao has, in his words "updat[ed] my personal Binance listing tips again. This time, with more in depth view into listing fees, evaluation, and a few other random thoughts."
With minimal further ado, here they are condensed into ten bite-sized actionables for any aspiring coin.
Ten tips for getting your coin listed on Binance.
Number five will provoke feelings of mild incredulity.
The common thread running through all of them is that the vast majority of applicants are rejected, partly because "an exchange that lists everything tends to turn into a wasteland," CZ says, and partly because there's so much demand that it's just not feasible to list everything. Also, a Binance listing is an ongoing process rather than just a single event that either happens or doesn't.
Patience, prudence and a willingness to cough up the listing fee will all work in your favour.
1. Online is the only way.
The online application form is the "ONLY" (caps his) way to apply for listing on Binance. You should fill in the application completely and comprehensively.
Anything else, or anything less, and it's not going to happen.
Ideally, the project founder or CEO should fill it in, so Binance can directly get in touch with a key person in the event of a fork, double spend or other issue.
2. You don't want an immediate response.
If there's an immediate yes or no, it's probably no.
This is because potential acceptances go through a thorough internal check, and only outright rejections, such as the coins that are on the Binance blacklist, will get an immediate response.
About 98% of applicants will be quietly turned down and will not hear anything back from Binance.
3. You can submit applications multiple times.
You shouldn't construe this as an invitation to spam application forms, but rather to keep working on the project and to re-apply if you have made significant progress.
"Continue working on your project, not persuading us," CZ says.
4. Don't ask for updates, definitely don't ask for a contact person.
Don't ask for updates on your application status. You won't get one. And definitely don't ask for a contact person because you definitely won't get one.
Binance doesn't allow contact with its review team, CZ explains. This is to prevent undue influence and to minimise the chances of bribery.
After all, the review team is only human – presumably. It's impossible to say with them being kept in isolation.
5. Stop sending CZ your whitepapers.
Nothing good can come of reaching out to Zhao directly. He says he's not involved in the listings process, so he couldn't help even if he wanted. The corollary is that he probably can't blacklist your project either, but you really don't want to put that to the test.
"Don't shill your coin in my tweets. It doesn't work. I am inclined to apply a penalty for people/coins doing it, but I am not involved in the listing process, so I can't even do that," he says.
Also, "Don’t send me your white paper. I don’t do initial reviews."
6. Update your project progress.
Update your project progress on Binance Info.
Projects that are being readily updated and worked on will be more likely to proceed in the ongoing process of achieving a Binance listing.
7. (Don't) mind the scammers.
Don't expect an immediate response, unless it's in the form of a suspicious email with a suspicious attachment.
Phishers are casting their nets around Binance applicants.
"The current fashion is email spoofing. I assume more advanced methods will come later. Find a way to verify they are indeed from Binance, especially before you make a payment for listing fees," CZ advises.
8. Be good/don't be bad.
A coin is more likely to be listed if it's a high-quality project, and if its team exhibits some high-quality behaviour.
CZ names the following factors:
- ICO size. A gluttonous ICO might help cover the listing fee, but it won't do much for your public image.
- Don't be a jerk. "The communication process is part of the evaluation. If a project team acts lazy, overly cunning, arrogant, or just outright unprofessional, we take that into consideration. We evaluate how the team handles difficult situations, even if it is just within their own community." Save all that drama for after you get the listing.
- Be high quality. A proven team, a useful product and a large user base are what make a high-quality project, CZ says. When in doubt, focus on adoption.
- Don't be a cult. There's a fine line between having a loyal user base and running a cult. That line might be crossed when the users are more interested in attacking other projects than marketing their own.
9. There's a BNB express lane.
Priority is given to the projects which have supported Binance's own BNB cryptocurrency.
"We remember people who help us," CZ says.
These are projects which incorporated BNB into their ecosystem, raised BNB for their ICO and held onto it or have been a promoter and supporter of Binance in their community.
10. Choose your own listing fees.
There are often listing fees. The simplest interpretation of these is that they're just a payment for a service rendered – a coin wants a listing and Binance wants money. Much like how Bitcoin Private developers thought their $1 million in bitcoin would just buy a Binance listing before one of the developers ran off with the treasury.
But in truth, the listing fee is there to put up at least some kind of barrier for entry for the tire-kickers and to cover some of the present and future costs and risks of a listing.
There's no set cost for this. Rather Binance lets applicants propose their own figure. Whether it's high enough depends on how good the project is.
CZ lays out four broad groups for projects:
- The very good have stable products, many users and will grow. No fees required. "Exchanges should pay the coin team to list them, but alas, no one can prevent an exchange to list a blockchain asset... If you make your project as awesome as ETH, there won’t be any discussion about fees."
- The good are still good, but carry more risks. The potential for failure later, the costs of Binance's due diligence for potentially middling returns and the maintenance costs of mainnet swaps and more means it's hard to justify listing even a good product without picking up a suitable fee.
- The average projects probably aren't up for an immediate listing. It probably doesn't matter what the fee is because average projects probably aren't up for listing right away. The risks and downsides typically outweigh any reasonable listing fee. These are usually a "wait and see" for Binance. "If they keep making good progress, we can always list them at a later date."
- The scams and bad projects are willing to pay anything. "Bad/scam projects are worth a brief mention because they are always willing to pay anything. They would happily pay $20m USD, as long as they think they can cash out at a market cap of $21m, or even $20.1m. This is why top exchanges never make listing fee a top consideration factor."
Holistically, consider how good your project is, including its vision, culture, users, potential for adoption and everything else, and put forward a number you're comfortable with as the proposed listing fee. Contrary to popular opinion, simply racking up more zeros will not (necessarily) help get a project listed, but will instead trip some red flags and might actually hurt your chances.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and ADA.