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Binance accepted $250,000 yearly payments to keep Blockstack listed despite claiming there was no listing fee

Frank Chaparro

Binance, the largest crypto-to-crypto exchange, announced last week that it would be listing Blockstack’s Stacks tokens for a listing fee of “0 BNB.” However, per Blockstack’s SEC filing, the company paid Binance 833,333 STX tokens upfront, which is worth approximately $250,000 using Blockstack’s Reg A+ general offering price of $0.30 each. Moreover, Blockstack agreed to pay Binance an additional 833,333 STX tokens annually “in consideration for the Stacks Token’s ongoing and future listing.”

A Binance spokesperson told The Block that the listing fees only refer to the fees associated with the technical costs of getting the tokens listed on the platform (although this is not explicitly mentioned in Binance's press release) and that what Binance received was a "long-term payment." The spokesperson further said that Blockstack has been the first company to provide this type of payment. Blockstack CEO Muneeb Ali told The Block "This long-term payment is meant to watch out for the Blockstack ecosystem by incentivizing Binance to list Stacks over many years and aligns well with our long-term focus."

A year ago, Binance announced that it would donate 100% of listing fees through an in-house charity called the Blockchain Charity Foundation. Projects would be required to propose their own figure for a “listing fee,” which Binance would donate upon acceptance. When asked if Blockstack’s long-term payment would be donated to charity, the spokesperson replied, “No they won’t be, as this is not a listing fee.”