Bitfinex may move to raise as much as $1 billion through a token sale as soon as next week.
Zhao Dong, a Bitfinex shareholder who first revealed the exchange was thinking of doing an initial exchange offering (IEO) earlier this week, posted on WeChat Wednesday that individuals interested in participating should reach out to either him or to DFund, a group he founded.
There will be a minimum buy-in of $1 million, and a total supply of 1 billion tokens, available for $1 each, Zhao wrote. He further claimed that $500 million has already been subscribed.
“Only qualified foreign investors will be allowed to invest,” he wrote, and they must make a “soft” commitment to the sale by Sunday.
Once investors have been able to review the token’s white paper, they can choose to cancel their soft commitment or convert to a hard commitment, with a 10 percent deposit.
“The system works on a first-in, first-served basis,” Zhao added. “If the whole [1 billion is] fully allocated, we will not have to run the IEO to the retail channel, it will be like a private placement.”
It is unclear how exactly the proceeds would be used, though it is possible the exchange will look to use the funds to make up for an $850 million shortfall it suffered last year after its payment processor’s funds were seized by national authorities.
Zong described the token as a “hybrid” of BNB, the token issued by Binance that can be used to pay trading fees on that exchange, and BFX, the token Bitfinex issued to customers who lost money in a 2016 hack, which was convertible to equity and was fully redeemed the following year.
“Bitfinex will destroy [the] token with full unfrozen funds in the future, in addition to referring to the logic of BNB token,” he wrote.
Neither Zhao nor a spokesperson for Bitfinex immediately responded to requests for comment.
The New York Attorney General (NYAG) revealed that Bitfinex lost access to the funds last week, and had received a $625 million transfer from stablecoin issuer Tether – which shares executives and some ownership with the exchange – to cover up the shortfall.
Tether also offered Bitfinex a line of credit, granting it access to as much as $900 million. The NYAG froze access to that line, though a New York Supreme Court justice ruled Tuesday night that the attorney general’s office must justify this order.
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