Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange by almost all metrics, is delisting most of its Helium (HNT) token trading pairs.
Last week, Binance suspended HNT margin trading with stablecoin pairs USDT and BUSD. On October 12, Binance will delist HNT's spot trading pairs with BTC and USDT. The only remaining trading pair will be HNT/BUSD.
Helium is not taking this news well. The company spoke with Forbes about being delisted. Helium's COO Scott Sigel said “there is no basis for Binance to delist several HNT pairs. There has been no change to the integrity of HNT and it continues to meet all of the standards the exchange sets.” I get where Sigel is coming from here, but the token doesn't seem to have much trading volume on Binance.
Binance responded to Forbes by basically saying HNT is garbage: “When a coin or token no longer meets [Binance's] standard or there are changes in the industry, we conduct a more in-depth review and potentially delist it in order to protect our users." It can't feel good to hear that from Binance, which is known for listing tokens that even Coinbase wouldn't touch.
Helium Is Having a Bad Year
Despite the HNT token's huge market cap, the Helium hotspot network doesn't generate much network income: less than $100k in the last year, and about $6.5k/month now. The network is almost dead. Helium has over a million hotspots, but no one seems to use them. Most of the Helium network's traffic is hotspots pinging the network.
Last month, Helium admitted its network can't scale to meet the demands of its own hotspot operators, let alone actual network users. Helium's blockchain and tokens will be absorbed by Solana, which shares a few big investors with Helium.
And of course there is the partners scandal, where Helium claimed on its website to have ongoing partnerships with Salesforce and the Lime scooter company, despite both of those partnerships ending a long time ago. Normally, we let startups fudge the details a bit on their websites. But Helium was a $4.4B company with a $40 token, and now it's a $600M company with a $4 token. People were looking for reasons to get angry.
There's no clear path forward for Helium, and I wouldn't be surprised if more exchanges delisted HNT trading pairs. Binance has deep liquidity and is a leader in many major markets. If Helium couldn't produce reasonable trading volume on Binance with several trading pairs, it's tough to see the HNT token performing better soon.