Binance-Backed FTX Exchange Seeks Billion-Dollar Valuation in Equity Token Sale

FTX claims its high-growth rate justifies its billion-dollar valuation.

AccessTimeIconFeb 25, 2020 at 1:36 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 12:21 p.m. UTC

Derivatives exchange FTX is hosting a public sale for tokenized equity in the hopes it can attain a billion-dollar valuation.

The Binance-backed platform, famed for creating the Shitcoin Index of low-market coins, announced Tuesday its FTX_Equity token sale would welcome investors willing to allocate a minimum $250,000 each.

Each FTX_Equity token, valued at $2 each, represents an ownership stake in the FTX Trading Ltd., the holding company that owns the derivatives exchange. Investors will be able to purchase the tokens directly through an exchange account with U.S. dollars, bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) or FTX's native FTT token.

Although token holders receive dividend payouts into their exchange accounts, they will not have any voting rights and will not be named individually on the shareholder registry. Investors can convert FTX_Equity into conventional FTX equity, but only in batches of 1.25 million tokens.

It isn't clear what the exchange rate is between normal and tokenized FTX equity. Although FTX will not accept investment from residents of the U.S. and some other jurisdictions, there appear to be no restrictions preventing retail investors from participating in the sale.

An FTX spokesperson told CoinDesk the equity tokens had not been created "just yet."

The sale is expected to close March 7.

Launching in May 2019, FTX offers futures, options and perpetual contracts on approximately 30 different digital assets. It raised $8 million in a private equity round in August 2019.

At the time Binance acquired a minority stake in December, the exchange processed approximately $170 million in average monthly volume on its bitcoin and ether futures. That has since increased to nearly $355 million in February, according to data analytics site Skew.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried told Bloomberg at the time of the Binance investment the exchange was now valued in the "hundreds of millions of dollars." Although the number of tokens up for sale has not been disclosed, the token equity sale will take FTX's value into line with its billion-dollar equity valuation, the exchange said.

Speaking to CoinDesk, an FTX spokesperson said a billion-dollar valuation was in line with the valuations of other similar-volume cryptocurrency exchanges. The spokesperson added that "revenue would justify that valuation with moderate growth, and would justify a significantly higher valuation if we can sustain the high growth rate we've been having."

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