Bitfinex's parent company has received $1 billion in hard and soft commitments for its exchange token sale, according to a shareholder involved in the process.
Dong Zhao, founder of DGroup and an over-the-counter (OTC) trader in China who owns equity in Bitfinex, said in a WeChat post on Thursday that "there's a high possibility Bitfinex will not conduct a public sale" for its token offering called LEO.
Zhao told CoinDesk that the exchange has received both hard and soft commitments of $1 billion worth of USDT, the U.S. dollar-pegged cryptocurrency issued by Tether, a company that shares owners and management with Bitfinex.
The soft commitment means those investors have not yet locked in their USDT for LEO and have the option to back out from the deal. As such, it does not mean Bitfinex has successfully raised all the intended amount. If any of these investors withdraw in the end, the remaining tokens will be issued to others on a first come, first serve basis, Zhao said.
Bitfinex announced the token sale earlier this month, just days after the New York Attorney General's office revealed that it was looking for more information about the exchange's cover-up of an alleged $850 million loss. The missing funds, which were held by payment processor Crypto Capital, were reportedly seized by Polish, Portuguese and U.S. authorities.
Zhao said his firm has already invested in the LEO token with a hard commitment but declined to share how much. It's not yet clear at this stage how much in hard commitments Bitfinex has received. But Zhao said the hard commitments include $20 million from users of his crypto-lending application Renrenbit.
News of the commitments comes just a day after Bitfinex released an official white paper for the $1 billion token sale. Though previous reports indicated there could be a public sale after the private phase ends if it's not yet fully raised, Bitfinex was vague about this in the white paper.
“If fewer than 1 billion USDT tokens are sold by private token sale, the Issuer may thereafter sell remaining tokens at times and in a manner it deems appropriate in its sole discretion, consistent with applicable law,” the white paper reads.
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