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lightning 03 May 2024

Exchange Listing Performance (April 2024)

written by Jack

A token's entry into secondary markets is a pivotal event offering valuable insights into actual demand, the community perception, and prevailing market conditions. For most tokens, this event will bring in the highest organic volumes and establishes the groundwork for subsequent price discovery. 

We analyze the performance of tokens listed on premier centralized exchanges. By leveraging data taken from these exchanges and other publicly available information, we analyze the effectiveness and success of each exchange. We focus on key metrics such as the number of listings, win rate, average ATH (All-Time High) multiples, and other time-related multiples.  This analysis aims to provide valuable insights into the performance of tokens on specific exchanges across time.

Over the past few months, we have updated our data to feature 839 listings from August 2021 to April 2024. Since our last update, the market, catalyzed by the Bitcoin ETF, has seen considerable improvements regaining bull market status.

As of April 2024, the market has reached a state of uncertainty, with participants unclear about the future direction of the broader market. This period of ambiguity often leads to cautious trading and speculative analysis as investors seek reliable indicators to guide their decisions.

Exchange Analysis

The disparity between exchanges has never been more pronounced. Volume concentration in top-tier exchanges underscores the competitive landscape, where only a select few control the majority of market share. The decline of smaller platforms signals a shift towards more established exchanges that can sustain liquidity and trader interest. We have thus shifted our focus to only track listings on the following venues: Binance, Coinbase, OKX, Kraken, ByBit, KuCoin, and Gate.

While we view Korean exchanges such as Upbit and Bithumb Korea as value-add exchanges, we do not have the data necessary to provide evidence. We are currently evaluating MEXC and Bitget as two exchanges that may require additional coverage. Smaller exchanges such as Cube and Backpack are also piquing our interest.

It is also worth noting that the exchanges discussed in this post are all centralized. While flows post FTX collapse and Binance lawsuits have continued to trend toward decentralized exchanges, price discovery tends to outperform on CEXs in large part due to efficiencies inherent in the CLOBstructure, congestion issues, and high transaction (gas) fees. We reviewed the importance of the pre market orderbook structure in this Case Study.

Group One

Binance has maintained pole position as the premier venue for primary listing. The listing price curve on Binance significantly outperforms other exchanges when looking at both short (23.42 ATH) and long term (7.82 360D) time frames. Organic volumes on Binance continue to outclass all other centralized venues.

Coinbase historically has not been an exchange who has actively participated in primary listings. However, over the past 6 months, Coinbase has shown a greater degree of interest in altcoins. Here these listings have been met by strong volumes albeit at muted valuations due to a delayed open. 

OKX sits as the primary challenger to Binance in the non-western market. While OKX was fairly quiet as the market transitioned from bear to bull their performance sits well above all other exchanges sans Binance. OKX has also had the most successful listings of the cycle in Foxy. 

Group Two

ByBit has been aggressively increasing its market share taking advantage of a “weaker” Binance and somewhat quiet OKX through the current bull cycle. We expect this market share to continue to grow as ByBit has been a featured exchange for many of the most successful listings in this cycle.

Kraken, like Coinbase, has not historically participated in primary listings. Yet, we are likely to see Kraken more actively moving forward as the exchange positions itself as the only centralized option outside of Coinbase for the western market. Kraken’s organic volume is sizable and growing YoY.

Group Three

KuCoin even with considerable adversity has maintained its positioning as a reliable go to market venue. While it has lost its status as the premier altcoin listing venue from 2021, KuCoin still has a strong user base. 

Gate stands as the best of the rest as the exchange has supported 394 listings within our database. As expected with this high number of listings there is high variance in performance from one to the next. However, Gate remains a value add exchange for any project’s go to market.

Time Analysis

A Change in Guard: Nov 2023 to Pre-ETF

Since our last update in November, the market has transitioned from bear to bull, as the Bitcoin ETF catalyzed inflows across the asset class. Spearheaded by listings such as Chainflip and Pyth, November 2023 signaled to the market that demand on open was once again present.

Exchanges recognized this clear shift, as evidenced by the increase in listings from 25 in November to 70 in December 2023. These listings were met with robust performance, contributing to a positive close for 2023.

Post ETF to Chinese New Year

The period following the debut of the ETF experienced a brief cool off, marked by a decrease in listing activities between mid January to pre-Chinese New Year. However, this market slowdown set the stage for strategic accumulation and preparation for the next bullish wave.

By mid February, the capital inflow spurred by the Bitcoin ETF led to an inevitable surge in the number of new listings as speculation was rampant - which can be best expressed via the Solana memecoin surge. Initial market openings for listings regularly experienced 10x “pops” between November to February, a clear signal to exchanges to expand their target number of listings per month. 

Bitcoin All Time High & Onward

By mid-march, the market reached a peak. Exchanges looking to capitalize permitted the highest number of listings in our data’s history in March only to follow it up by breaking the record again in April. The market saturation of primaries coupled with inefficient capital flows in memecoins and investor fatigue in majors led to a break lower in listing multiples post Bitcoin ATH.

Since we have undergone a necessary period of consolidation. The later half of April saw a significant drop in opening performance leading to considerable uncertainty for what comes next. While we have retraced off March peaks, the market remains in a much stronger position than pre-November. We will expand upon this discussion in our next blog post.

Concluding Thoughts

All in all, the market has undergone a significant transformation since late October catalyzed by the Bitcoin ETF. The move higher has led exchanges to rapidly increase their listing schedules as April has reached the highest value for any month. This sharp move higher has been met by consolidation through March, however the most recent listings’ performance continue to outperform pre-bull primaries.

As retail flows expand alongside the broader market, the consolidation in exchanges due to regulatory shifts is apparent. This has led us to reduce the number of exchanges covered considerably. We expect this consolidation to continue as the market prioritizes capital security and liquidity. 

Utilizing the data presented, our next post will present the Acheron Trading Index. An index that is designed to show the strength of the primary listing market. We will share our methodology, how to interpret this data, as well as how this data can be used for further analysis.


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