There are plenty of legends about what it takes to have a token listed on an exchange. A fintech analysis company, Autonomous Research, released a paper with a comparison between the cryptocurrency exchange cost against traditional exchanges.
To enter the Nasdaq Capital Market for a listing of up to 15 million shares, you would need to pay $55 thousand. The yearly fees to remain listed would be roughly similar.
If you’d like to add a token to a cryptocurrency exchange, you are looking at completely different rates. Authors of the report explain: “The market price to list a crypto token on an exchange is $1 million for a reasonably regarded token, to $3 million for an opportunity to get quick liquidity,”
The exchanges understand that a success of an ICO can often depend on how easy it will be to trade the token. It is therefore important to get listed on an exchange.
The report is based on a research conducted in Telegram groups and private conversations with those knowledgeable on the subject. There are however other sources confirming those findings. Business Insider reported that they discovered crypto exchanges charging $1 million per ICO. In another case an altcoin developer was quoted $3.5 million to be integrated “with a popular mobile wallet” – as reported by the news.bitcoin.com.
This explains the fact that Coinbase reported $1 billion in profits in 2017. Binance reported over $200 million for the same year.
At this moment over 98% cryptocurrency trading happens on centralised exchange networks like Bitfinex or Binance. Decentralised exchanges are still in development, so we’re most likely going to see those kind of fees for a while.