Digital currency exchange Bitfinex has revealed that it will be launching a new trading platform for ethereum-based tokens.
Dubbed Ethfinex, the service aims to function as a decentralized exchange for tokens under the ERC20 standard. Bitfinex, founded in 2012, is one of the world's largest bitcoin exchanges by volume, encompassing more than 20 percent of exchange-based trading volume in the past week, according to data from Bitcoinity.
In its announcement, Bitfinex invoked last summer's $60 million hack – as well as the tokens it issued in the wake of that incident to reimburse user loses – as driving factors toward its push to rethinking how a cryptocurrency exchange could be structured. The issuance of the token, Bitfinex argued, "proved a powerful lesson in the capacity of exchange decentralisation."
In addition to serving as a trading platform, Bitfinex said that Ethfinex will also be an information center for ethereum and token-based projects.
As the firm's blog post describes:
"Spun out of Bitfinex, Ethfinex brings with it the vision of a customer-centric and highly liquid digital asset exchange platform. Ethfinex will be a hybrid community and information hub for developers, traders and enthusiasts alike, designed to facilitate discussion, development and trading in the ethereum ecosystem."
The exchange will notably feature a token of its own, called the Nectar token (or NEC), though Bitfinex has said that it will forego a crowdsale – rather, the token will be distributed to market makers as a kind of loyalty point, which can be redeemed for a percentage of trading fees each month.
This token will also be used to advise on governance decisions, and larger holders, according to the Ethfinex white paper, will in time have the ability to elect members of an advisory board if they hold 5 percent or more of the total amount of NEC tokens.
Trading of the NEC token will be limited to those who elect to register with the market-maker loyalty initiative. US residents, according to the white paper, won't be allowed to join that program or conduct trades in the exchange's NEC marketplace.
Exchange graph image via Shutterstock