A market appears to be developing for Bitfinex’s newly issued debt tokens.
Distributed this week by the troubled exchange to users who lost funds in last week’s $60m hack, the value of the cryptographic tokens rose sharply after the exchange resumed trading today.
The so-called “BFX tokens”, a debt-based blockchain asset said to be convertible to equity in the Hong Kong-based business, started the day out at $0.10 and rose to as much as $0.40 over the course of the day’s session.
This sharp price appreciation proved the most interesting development associated with Bitfinex’s widely anticipated reopening, according to analysts.
Arthur Hayes, CEO of leveraged trading platform BitMEX, noted his interest in the strength of the market for the new coin, as others questioned why traders were returning to the exchange at all.
Hayes told CoinDesk:
“Even though Bitfinex explicitly said it has no obligations to ever pay back a dime to BFX token holders, traders still ascribe a healthy value to the token.”
The exchange revealed 6th August that these tokens would be available for trade until Bitfinex either pays back its account holders or provides them with shares of iFinex, the BVI-based parent company of the exchange.
Bitfinex data reveals that the two currency pairs involving the token – BFX/USD and BFX/BTC – generated far greater trading volume than any other currency pairs between the exchange’s reopening at 16:00 UTC and the time of the report.
BitMEX went so far as to launch a new futures contract, BFXQ16, which allows traders to speculate on BFX/USD’s price movements with as much as 2.5 times leverage.
In spite of the token’s strong price appreciation and robust transaction volume, market responses were mixed. Some emphasized that by issuing the new tokens, Bitfinex was distributing the first debt-based cryptocurrency, which triggered fears that the community was perhaps turning its back on earlier ideals.
Other market observers, including Whaleclub’s director of operations Petar Zivkovkski, voiced concerns that the market was being driven up by Bitfinex staff members as a means to buy back this equity at a lower value.
At press time, no other exchanges had announced support for the digital asset.
Mountain climbing image via Shutterstock