Why do exchanges delist cryptocurrencies?

There are a variety of reasons why an exchange may choose to delist a cryptocurrency, but are they always valid?

In a bear market, delistings are not too uncommon. Each exchange will have its own listing and delisting policy depending on the market, demand and their customers’ expectations. Below, we take a look at how much impact a bear market really has the decision to delist cryptocurrencies.

A lack of demand delists cryptocurrencies

One of the easiest assumptions to make is that the bear market has dried up much of the capital necessary to run a successful cryptocurrency. Not only is consistent development required, but many cryptocurrencies have shown how useful marketing can be even without a great product. If your cryptocurrency is not fortunate enough to have a strong community of volunteers that can help develop the code, then you are going to have to pay for it, and blockchain developers are not cheap. Whilst this isn’t too much of a worry when prices are rising, when prices are stagnant or depressing, issues can arise.

Such problems can escalate further. Without consistent development or the money for marketing, the communication between both the cryptocurrency team and its community can collapse. Not only will the GitHub not be updated, but bagholders will struggle to find any positive news regarding their coin. This creates a rather vicious cycle that depresses both the value and all those who are involved.

All of these factors will affect the trading volume of a coin, with altcoins typically feeling the worst of the impact. In the past few years, many altcoins have low trading volumes due to a lack of a working product, lack of interest and lack of community. While many still expect an altcoin rally to take place, these types of coins continue to be the most commonly delisted.

A liberal exchange listing policy also plays a role in the delisting of a coin, especially if there are suspicions of Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes at play. For some exchanges, the liberal listing of coins isn’t an issue, but it can be detrimental for inexperienced traders.

A weak hash rate and pump and dumps

Although the bear market can be detrimental, this isn’t the only susceptibility. Coins that have a weak hash rate can be susceptible to 51% attacks. If a 51% attack were to happen and the blockchain was modified, then theoretically it could kill off a cryptocurrency and lead to its delisting from an exchange. Whilst this type of attack isn’t as common as one would think, mainly due to the profit/loss margin, they still occur on some of the more major chains.

The most recent example is the 51% attack on Ethereum Classic, although this didn’t seem to do too much damage to the cryptocurrency anyway. Ironically, for many coins, their value is such that the time and effort to perform a 51% attack isn’t worth the money attackers would make.

Sharks who see illiquid coins could also pursue a pump and dump tactic, manipulating the price for their own benefit. If this is happening consistently, then it is likely an exchange would rather not have that cryptocurrency on their books due to the regulations they have to abide by.


Expect to see more coins delisted from your favourite exchanges in the coming months. With over 2,000 cryptocurrencies currently available, it is highly unlikely that all of them will succeed. This coupled with the variety of reasons why a cryptocurrency exchange might delist a cryptocurrency and an ongoing bear market means people should be vigilant. If you suspect any of your favourite bags to be under threat from the issues listed above, then it might be wise to reconsider your investment. Another tip is to keep your cryptocurrency off the exchanges, as this will ensure that if your coin is delisted from one exchange, you do not lose your coins.


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