Bittrex’ coin listing and delisting policy has long been a mystery to outsiders, who have struggled to make sense of it. That mystery deepened this week after the exchange announced that it was removing Mysterium, a coin it only added last year and which still had respectable trade volume. Upon news of the delisting, Mysterium and Apex – the other coin scheduled for removal – plunged sharply.
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
There was once a time when Bittrex was the site that all new coins aspired to be listed on, the event guaranteeing an instant jump in price. Then, last year, the tide of new additions slowed to a trickle before virtually halting altogether, and coin developers went elsewhere. It is no coincidence that exchanges such as Binance, Gate.io, and Kucoin have prospered since Bittrex fell quiet. Traders, who once urged their followers to sign up at the US exchange, now urge their audience to take their custom elsewhere, to pastures where the coins are fresher and the growth is higher.
The number of coins available on Bittrex has been steadily dropping since last year, as the weekly and monthly delistings – typically of coins with a low trading volume – have not been replaced by new entrants. On Saturday, the exchange posted notice that Apex (APX), Bitcoindark (BTCD), and Mysterium (MYST) would be removed on January 26. There were few complaints at the loss BTCD; the privacy coin market is getting crowded and it is widely expected that Bittrex will list Bitcoin Private when it forks from Zclassic in the coming weeks.
The removal of Mysterium is quite literally a mystery though, so much so that the token’s developers were prompted to email the exchange to find out why. The response was less than convincing, with Bittrex proffering:
We encourage you to request relisting when you have completed and fully implemented the basic application for which you intend your token to be used and both the application and token can be used by the general public.
To this, the team behind the VPN token explained in a blog post: “As per Bittrex listing policy, they reserve the right to delist a coin if its product is not yet implemented, which is the case for Mysterium.” They added: “Everybody understands that it takes time to build a decentralised VPN with payments (where the token could be used). This is why we’re still in negotiations with Bittrex but getting in touch with other exchanges too.”
Bittrex, Y U Delist?
It seems odd for Bittrex to have singled out Mysterium, a token that was only added in June 2017, for removal. There are dozens of other coins that also meet the criteria of belonging to a project that is not fully working. Examples include Enigma and Power Ledger, both of which were added in November 2017. Many more of last year’s ICO tokens are also nowhere near having an MVP ready, meaning their only use is as a speculative instrument.
The removal of Apex is also another head-scratcher; the coin surged to a record high of $30 on January 13, only for bad news from Bittrex to sent it toppling all the way down to the $11 mark. It has been speculated that the removal of MYST, APX, and also Bitshares, a few weeks earlier, may have been an attempt to avoid falling foul of securities law. US exchanges are paranoid about running into trouble with the SEC. Bitfinex has ceased its US operations altogether, while Bittrex’ token removal policy suggests it is also closely scrutinizing the law.
With 95% of the Mysterium trading volume and 92% of Apex occurring on Bittrex, both tokens have been hit hard by the news. The projects’ developers are learning something that users of exchanges such as Bittrex have known for a while: too much centralization is a bad thing.
Why so you think Bittrex has delisted MYST and APX? Let us know in the comments section below.
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