Bitfinex to Offer Company Equity to Reimburse Customer Losses

Bitfinex customers may soon have a way to convert the digital assets they were issued following the exchange's hack earlier this month.

Aug 22, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:27 p.m. UTC

Bitfinex customers may soon have a way to convert the digital assets they were issued following the exchange's decision to socialize losses into equity in the company.

Weeks after a debilitating hack, Bitfinex has signed a letter of intent with investment platform BnkToTheFuture that finds the two firms collaborating to enable the redemption of BFX tokens for equity in iFinex Inc, its British Virgin Islands-based parent company.

Introduced when the exchange came back online on 11th August, BFX tokens are meant to make up for the 36% customer losses imposed after the incident. Issued to customers at a $1 value, the value of the blockchain-based token was $0.38 at press time.

In statements, Bitfinex CEO Jean Louis van der Velde stated that the firm is committed to releasing further updates on the hack and providing more clarity on the company’s financials before enabling the conversion of BFX tokens into equity.

While the announcement moves Bitfinex's plan forward, it remains a controversial one given that its legality is largely unknown.

Proponents of the system have argued the issuance is a more advantageous deal for exchange users when compared to a formal bankruptcy. For example, customers of now-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt Gox are still largely waiting to be reimbursed for losses more than two years after the exchange shuttered.

Critics suggest that the issuance could lead to regulatory intervention, cautioning that lawsuits also remain a possibility should aggrieved customers seek more formal action.

As for how the partnership will move forward from the letter of intent, the exchange was less definitive.

Bitfinex community director Zane Tackett told CoinDesk:

"The next steps are to continue our discussions with BnkToTheFuture and work towards putting this plan in action."

Recycling image via Shutterstock

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