Exchange tokens rally ahead of next week’s long-awaited Coinbase IPO

Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges (CEX) have received increased attention over the past couple of months as excitement builds over Coinbase’s April 14 NASDAQ listing and the exchange’s recent announcement that it pulled in $1.8 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2021.

Even as decentralized finance (DeFi) and popular decentralized exchanges (DEX) like Uniswap (UNI) and PancakeSwap (CAKE) attracted investors, high transaction costs and low liquidity on separate blockchain networks means that many crypto traders stick with CEXs for lower trading costs and the sense of security they offer.

While Bitcoin, DeFi tokens and a selection of altcoins have garnered most of the media’s attention, exchange tokens have quietly amassed impressive gains over the past few months.

KCS/USDT vs. BNB/USDT vs. WRX/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Four exchange tokens that have seen significant gains of late are Binance Coin (BNB), KuCoin Token (KCS), FTX Token (FTT) and WazirX (WRX).

BNB/USDT

Binance continues to be the most dominant cryptocurrency exchange in the sector and that strength has been reflected in the growth of its native BNB token which has climbed 875% since Feb. 1 due in part to the rise of the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

BNB/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

As the Ethereum (ETH) network continues to struggle with congestion and high transaction costs, BSC emerged to capitalize on the situation by offering low-cost fixed transactions that are paid with BNB.

This added layer of functionality for BNB has significantly increased demand for the token as it powers the Binance DeFi ecosystem and PancakeSwap DEX which is now the fourth-largest DeFi platform by total value locked according to data from Defi Llama.

Total value locked on PancakeSwap. Source: Defi Llama

With signs that trading volumes across the cryptocurrency are on the rise, there is a strong possibility that BNB will see further upside as the Binance ecosystem continues to expand and the…

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