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There are a lot of crypto exchanges around the world and some of them have an option to add your token to the exchange. But if I get it right, the token should be ERC-20 compatible, therefore Ethereum-based? But there is one thing I can't understand (not advertising anything):

As an example, Ripple XRP Token - can be found in many exchanges, some exchanges have few currencies, like BTC, ETH, XRP, BCC and that's all, but the other have XRP and hundreds of ERC20 Tokens, Bitfinex for example. The question is - how is it possible if XRP is not Ethereum based? And if't its just a special support for XRP implemented, then why tokens made at Waves Platform (Wagerr, Starta etc) can't be traded at Bitfinex alike exchanges as well?

What am I missing?

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(This is perhaps a little off-topic... And I'm not entirely sure if I understand what you're asking... )

I think you might be conflating "token", "coin", "currency", and whatever else certain crytocurrencies can be classed as, possibly because of how they're reported on certain exchanges.

I would consider XRP a "coin", in the sense that BTC and ETH are. I would consider a "token" to be something that operates on top of another platform/chain.

So ERC-20 tokens run on top of Ethereum, the Ardour token runs on top of the Nxt platform, Deepbrain on NEO, and so on. XRP is just the native coin for the Ripple platform. (There's some complication here as XRP isn't actually required for RippleNet to run, which is why some exchanges might categorise it as a token... [Are they?] But this isn't the Ripple SE site, so we'll leave this alone for now.)

To give you an idea of which parent platforms can run tokens, here's a list of the counts of tokens for those platforms, as reported (and categorised) by CoinMarketCap:

Total token count:        483       
-----------------------------
Ethereum                  385
Waves                      27
BitShares                  17
Omni                       13
Nxt                         9
Counterparty                9
Burst                       7
NEO                         4
Qtum                        4
NEM                         3
Ethereum Classic            2
Ubiq                        2
NuBits                      1

Certain exchanges will trade in certain assets. They will have their reasons for choosing which assets they trade in.

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  • Thank you for your explanation, Richard! Just to summarize please, different exchanges may support different coins and may allow to add tokens based on different platforms (all up to them). So technically it doesn't matter for them to add Ethereum based token or Waves based token, right? And coins get added once they are widely used on an individual basis?
    – Mike
    Jan 10, 2018 at 0:30
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    Yes, to all your points. An exchange will presumably have to weigh up how easy it is to support the addition of a particular coin or token before adding it. Jan 10, 2018 at 21:05
  • hey @RichardHorrocks, i wanted to add one small doubt in here, i hope it make sense with the topic, lets consider Binance as an exchange having 1000s of users, each user have their own unique address which receives billions of cryptos globally , how do they track that the incoming transaction belongs to their customer ?
    – cryptoKTM
    Jan 20, 2022 at 3:51
  • Hi @cryptoKTM - each user has a different deposit address created by the exchange. Any currency transferred to these addresses are then likely moved to one of the exchange's larger "hot wallets". (If I've understood you properly... ) Jan 20, 2022 at 15:52

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