These exchanges can easily pass as top tier platforms. However, they fall into this Middle Tier due to issues relating specifically to reputation.
Each of the platforms in this category have faced a markedly high level of controversy that has somewhat tarnished their brand.
But, do not be mistaken – these are PR issues, not issues related to the competence of the teams that operate these platforms.
If not for the somewhat tarnished public image, these exchanges would all be top tier platforms.
Liquidity levels, though not as high as Bittrex or Binance, are acceptable.
The teams that manage these platforms are technical savants who are well versed in protecting their customers’ assets – as they have never suffered any major, debilitating losses.
We feel that development teams should always seek to associate themselves with exchanges that are held in high regard in eyes of the trading community, as this has many benefits that tend to reveal themselves over the long term.
Unfortunately these particular exchanges have often used shady volume manipulation tactics, they offer lacklustre customer service – and aren’t as organised as the top tier operations.
However, despite the negative sentiment, these middle tier platforms are undoubtedly powerful – and this power cannot be ignored or dismissed.
They have large pools of liquidity that enables development teams to provide a suitable trading environment for their investors.
For those who are not able to produce projects that are attractive to the top tier platforms, you have no choice but to conduct all of your activities within this middle tier – that includes the listing of your digital asset.
Though many users have faced several issues with HitBtc our own experience is quite different.
While assisting development teams in securing placement onto exchanges we have found that we can always rely on the team at HitBTC.
In short, for us, we have found it to be incredibly simple to secure placement with this particular platform.
But please do not be mistaken, HitBTC is certainly not on the same level as Bittrex or Binance.
Whilst the liquidity on HitBTC is enough for project developers and their investors to generate decent revenues, the liquidity that is available on this platform really does not compare to the levels of Bittrex or Binance.
So, we cannot put HitBTC into the same conversation as the other exchanges mentioned above.
It is a completely different platform, operated by a team that has motivations that are completely different than the operators of the larger platforms.
With the HitBTC team, we tend to find a certain level of desperation – specifically when it comes to paid listings.
From our point of view, this is a team that is focused more on securing paid listings – than they are on driving innovation, incubating, guiding and assisting project leaders.
This is not a finely oiled machine like Bittrex, or Binance.
It is more of an opportunistic venture that is motivated by money instead of technology. It just so happens that, they have found themselves in a sweet spot within which they have actually been able to capture a large portion of users that have, for one reason or another, decided to conduct the majority of their trading activities on HitBTC.
Because of this, and since this is a team focused more on revenue than they are on the other – more important – elements of running an exchange, their level of customer service has suffered somewhat.
Unlike the other, more voluminous platforms – we do not believe that the team at HitBTC initially intended for their exchange to be as widely used as it is today. As such, their approach remains slightly amateuristic especially when compared with other major platforms in this space.
However – we have found that this works to our advantage.
Since the founding of HitBTC in 2013, we have had interaction with various members of their team. Though they seem to have a revolving door of personnel – we have been able to maintain a beneficial line of communication.
This is what enables us to secure unusually favourable terms for the opening of trading pairs on their exchange.
For us, when all else fails – HitBTC is always waiting on us, with open arms for us to bring something their way.
Out of all the exchange platforms with sufficient liquidity, this is a team that is the most focused – to the point of obsession – on revenue. As such, we have found that they are extremely easy to work with and we enjoy working with them.
They equate increased listings, with increased revenue – which makes our job fairly simple.
Their review process is very straight forward, to the point where we have been able to put together an almost cookie cutter approach when tweaking projects to make them a suitable fit for the exchange.
But – bear in mind, HitBTC is never our first choice only because their reputation isn’t the best and we’d always advise our clients to go with the platforms that are held in the highest regard.
Despite this, HitBTC does have enormous amounts of liquidity and – for this reason alone – is a suitable exchange.
Their listing terms are quite harsh. Developers are expected to give up large portions of their own currency to the exchange – but, this is where we come in to secure the most favourable terms, and the quickest and most expedient listing for your project.
Kucoin is famously difficult when it comes to communication.
In fact there are famous reports of back and forth communication between Kucoin and potential partners lasting over a duration of 16 weeks, yet resulting in rejection and failure to secure listing.
There are a slew of reports that suggest that Kucoin is a shady, faceless operation that makes use of false office addresses to conceal their true location.
However, we have found this to be completely false.
The head of Kucoin, Michael Gan, has shown himself to be a very competent leader with tons of technical experience and expertise. He has built a team that is similarly experienced and extremely capable of handling intense workloads.
The communication issues that developers face is due to the fact that, most developers who seek to achieve placement onto Kucoin are not as well informed, prepared and organised as they need to be.
There is no reason a team of developers should fall into the trap of being forced into a 16 week negotiation process, only to be rejected at the final hurdle.
Listing is a process that, realistically, should take no longer than 3 to 5 days. Review process included. When done correctly.
We find that most developers who are new to this space simply do not understand the challenges faced by exchanges, especially platforms like Kucoin that is operated by a team that is genuinely focused on fostering and facilitating innovation within the blockchain community.
If not for the somewhat besmirched reputation of Kucoin, we would have classified this platform as a top tier exchange.
Though the Kucoin team is not as war tested as the team at Bittrex, we feel that they have a very capable group of individuals that are dedicated to the long-term success of the platform.
The liquidity is very strong, much stronger than HitBTC in fact.
But they fall into this middle tier due to the negative sentiment, warranted or not, that is felt among the crypto currency community in regards to this exchange.
For us – we have never faced any issues with Kucoin.
We have found them to be alarmingly fast when responding our requests, and their communication is very detailed – which makes working with them very simple and enjoyable.
Though we have placed them in this middle tier of exchanges, this is due only to public opinion – make no mistake, Kucoin is a powerhouse.
They are no push overs. This is why those who do not have a relationship with key personnel at Kucoin find it impossible to receive even one response to their listing requests.
Put simply, in this market, there is a way that things are done – especially when it comes to opening a trading pair on an exchange that has significant usage.
There is a very thin line between the correct approach, and the incorrect approach.
Those who are not experienced in this way find it very difficult to make any progress with regard to building bridges and maintaining lines of communication with the exchanges.
In our experience, the Kucoin team is one that is very simple to work with – provided that your approach is acceptable.
Their review process is straight forward, and they do not impose unfair restrictions upon development teams other than requirements relating to market making, and volume contribution.
All in all we have found the Kucoin team to be good for the crypto currency ecosystem as a whole – and they have been very easy for us to work with.
The team behind OKEx have been around for quite some time.
This is the same group that has been operating OKCoin since 2013. So, they are not new comers to this market by any stretch of the imagination.
Despite being one of the largest exchanges in the market in terms of volume, we put OKEx in this category of Mid-tier exchanges due to the fact that they have experienced a notable turnover rate of senior executives.
In addition to this, there has been some talk of price manipulation and issues relating to wash trading and the faking of volume – which makes it very difficult to argue that OKEx is as liquid as Bittrex or Binance. Thus we cannot place it in the same category as these top tier exchanges.
For development teams that have been unable to create projects that are attractive to the top tier platforms, OKEx remains an option – however, their review procedure is unnecessarily time consuming for an exchange with such a questionable reputation.
But there are backdoors, since OKEx instantly accepts and lists projects endorsed by what they refer to as ‘Prime Investors.’ Which is the avenue that we frequently take when working with OKEx.
However, their review process is compulsory – and, takes quite a bit of time.
We have experienced waiting times in excess of two weeks, which is somewhat unreasonable considering the fact that we can secure a Binance placement within a much shorter length of time.
We find that the executives are directly involved with the review process, which is what causes this delay. This is in direct contrast with nearly all the other exchanges who have delegated this responsibility to dedicated teams.
Issues aside, once listing is secured – we find OKEx to have a decent pool of liquidity. Again, not as much as Bittrex or Binance. But, enough to keep investors engaged – and enough for you, as a developer, to draw consistent revenue from the exchange.
However the only time we recommend an OKEx listing is in unusual circumstances, it is an option that is always available – but, just due to the willingness of the team at OKEx to use such a lengthy review process, we tend to explore the other options that are available.
For us, speed is the most important thing and the team at OKEx tend to move very slowly, which is not beneficial for us.