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Crypto Delistings Happening at Record Clip Despite Bitcoin Comeback

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While bitcoin enjoys an encore, a number of other cryptocurrencies are apparently bowing out.

As Bloomberg News reported Tuesday (Oct. 24), a record number of digital tokens have been delisted this year from platforms like Coinbase and Binance.

That report, citing data from Kaiko, says at least 3,445 tokens or trading pairs have been delisted or inactive long enough that it’s likely they’ll be dropped. That number is 15% higher than for all of 2022, and double the amount from 2021.

Another research firm, CCData, said Binance and Coinbase have delisted upwards of 100 tokens just this month, 80 of them being pulled from Coinbase. That is more than any month this year and since at least 2021.

According to the report, many exchanges have worked to consolidate liquidity among trading pairs that are more popular with customers following the turbulence in the crypto sector.

“Eliminating fragmented liquidity offers a better trading experience to users by reducing the spread and slippage costs,” said Jacob Joseph, an analyst at CCData.

The news came the same day as a separate Bloomberg report hailing the resurgence of bitcoin, which reached $35,000 Tuesday for the first time since last year.

That report said bitcoin’s comeback was due to anticipation that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could be softening its stance on bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Crypto advocates believe that bitcoin ETFs could lead to a broader embrace of cryptocurrencies.

But as Bloomberg noted, the SEC’s regulatory actions have also contributed to the delistings. When the agency designated 19 tokens as unregistered securities when it sued Coinbase and Binance in June, a number of exchanges stopped trading them to avoid the commission’s wrath.

As PYMNTS wrote earlier this month, the crypto ecosystem has of late “been racking up more high-profile losses than it has wins.”

This is not just happening in the U.S. Great Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently launched a crackdown on cryptocurrency companies that violate new standards around frauds and scams.

“And while that may sound like nothing new, the FCA’s director of consumer investments has alleged that a ‘significant number’ of crypto firms won’t be able to make the mark under the new regime,” that report said. “The news comes barely a year after the U.K. attempted to position itself as a global crypto hub. Already in response, a growing number of financial institutions in the U.K. have begun tightening their limits on retail customers’ access to cryptocurrency.”

Meanwhile the SEC, which under Chairman Gary Gensler has taken a decidedly anti-crypto stance, has argued in a court filing that crypto lacks any “innate or inherent value of its own.”