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 UK 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 representing the 36% customer losses were issued to customers at a $1 value. At press time, the value of the blockchain-based token was $0.38, roughly the price it has been trading for the past week.
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.”
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