BTC-e Goes Bitfinex? Bitcoin Exchange Could Issue Tokens in Bid to Relaunch

Bitcoin exchange BTC-e has said it will return under a new name and issue a token to refund users after it was closed by U.S. authorities.

AccessTimeIconAug 9, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:48 a.m. UTC

Bitcoin exchange BTC-e will return under a new name and issue a token in order to refund users, according to a forum account tied to the platform.

The comments come after BTC-e, one of the longest-running and arguably most secretive of the world's cryptocurrency exchanges, was shuttered by U.S. authorities late last month. After arresting one of the exchange's alleged operators, officials handed down more than $100 million in fines and seized BTC-e's web domain.

However, the exchange's remaining staff, communicating through a long-held account on the Bitcoin Talk forum, have pledged to return despite the crackdown, later claiming that it was able to secure access to at least some of its funds.

In the latest statements, BTC-e said it "managed to gain control of 55% of the funds", with the remainder having been confiscated.

The anonymous spokesperson said the platform is working with an unnamed group of investors to revive the site, adding that the BTC-e brand would be abandoned "due to unresolved issues from the Office of Financial Crimes of the US Treasury." The exchange said the rebranding process would begin at the end of August, and promised future statements on the detail of the plan.

BTC-e also aired the intention to issue a new token, dubbed "BTE," in an effort to return funds to users. Customers would be refunded as the exchange buys back those tokens from the market – echoing how Bitfinex repaid its users following a $60 million hack last summer.

The exchange's staff explained (in a translated statement):

"All liabilities for fiat (USD, EUR, RUR) will be transferred to BTE tokens (1 BTE is 1 USD) at the exchange rate on the date of conversion. Probably, for more operative closing of promissory notes, ICO will be held on BTE tokens. If you have on the balance the amount in [coin], then you will be written off 45% of the balance of coins and credited with 45% of BTE (1 BTE is 1 USD). At the exchange rate on the day of conversion."

Holders of BTE would later be credited through seven different cryptocurrencies – bitcoin, litecoin, namecoin, novacoin, peercoin, ether and dash – "and write off the amount of 45% in BTE", according to the post.

To receive their tokens, users will have to verify their identities, the exchange detailed, citing investor requirements.

"The investment company works in compliance with KYC, AML and the licenses required for this activity, so all users will need to undergo verification," it said.

IOU image via Shutterstock


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