Crypto exchange Bitfinex shareholder Zhao Dong has revealed details of the company’s reported plans to issue a native exchange token, which he claims will launch via a $1 billion initial exchange offering (IEO) in the coming days.
According to a report from crypto news outlet CoinDesk on May 1, the Chinese bitcoin (BTC) billionaire posted to a public chat on local messenger WeChat on Wednesday, outlining that the sale will offer a total supply of 1 billion tokens, priced at $1 apiece, with a minimum buy-in of $1 million.
Zhao — who runs a major Chinese BTC over-the-counter trading desk and is the founder of Singapore-based DFund — reportedly further claimed that $500 million tokens had already been vouched for. He is cited as having said that “only qualified foreign investors will be allowed to invest,” and that all those interested must make a soft commitment to the IEO by May 5.
Once investors will have had a chance to review the token’s white paper, they will then be able to either cancel their soft commitment, or cement it as a hard commitment by providing a 10% deposit, Zhao reportedly added. The shareholder further outlined that:
“The system works on a first-in, first-served basis. If all tokens are fully allocated, we will not have to run the IEO to the retail channel, it will be like a private placement.”
The new token has reportedly been characterized by Zhao as a hybrid of the model used for crypto exchange Binance’s native token binance coin (BNB) — which is used by Binance users to pay for exchange trading fees — and Bitfinex’s erstwhile BFX token.
As previously reported, BFX tokens were issued by the exchange in 2016 to compensate Bitfinex users affected by a major hack, which had resulted in the theft of around 120,000 BTC.
Upon Zhao’s first revelation of the Bitfinex’s alleged IEO and proprietary exchange token plans on April 29, the news sparked a wave of community concern in light of the lengthy history of controversies that have beset both Bitfinex and affiliated USD stablecoin company Tether.
As recently reported, the New York Attorney General’s office has this month alleged that Bitfinex lost $850 million in user deposits, and had subsequently secretly covered up the shortfall using funds from Tether — the latter of which has itself come under renewed criticism for allegedly being only backed 74% by USD reserves.
In an official statement, Tether rebuffed the allegations, stating that the “New York Attorney General’s court filings were written in bad faith and were riddled with false assertions, including in regard to the purported $850 million loss.