UNUS SED LEO, launched through an initial exchange offering (IEO) in May 2019, is the latest cryptocurrency project of the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange’s parent company, iFinex. The token was launched after the US government’s seizure of funds held by Crypto Capital, Bitfinex’s former payment processor.
Bitfinex is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in existence, having been formed in 2012. While it remains one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, its path hasn’t always been smooth. In fact, 2018 was an extremely difficult year, and not only due to the popping of the crypto bubble and beginning of the crypto winter.
No, the biggest problem Bitfinex faced was a loss of $850 million suffered when the shadow banking firm Crypto Capital Corp had its funds seized by a number of global governments, including Poland, the U.K., Portugal, and the U.S. In addition, at the same time U.S. prosecutors accused the parent company iFinex of illegally transferring funds to Crypto Capital Corp. and of trying to conceal the $850 million loss by covering it with reserves from Tether Ltd., a company also owned by iFinex.
The subsequent controversy and negative press obviously put iFinex, and Bitfinex, in a very bad light in the eyes of investors. In response iFinex announced the creation and release of the UNUS SED LEO token, which would also cover the $850 deficit in Tether funds. And in May 2019 the UNUS SED LEO token appeared.
What is UNUS SED LEO?
UNUS SED LEO (LEO) is a new token designed to extend the capabilities of all platform users and services to iFinex, the parent company of Bitfinex. Such a decision should help to cope with the crisis that arose after the accusations against the trading platform about the illegal use of Tether cryptocurrency cash.
With UNUS SED LEO, Bitfinex plans to fill its own budget. As a result of the initial exchange, $ 1 billion was collected.
Utility of the LEO token
So what is UNUS SED LEO (LEO) coin used for? It was primarily created to bring benefits to users of the iFinex ecosystem (perhaps as a way of regaining trust following the issues discussed above). LEO gives all holders a range of discounts on the Bitfinex trading platform and other iFinex products. Discounts include taker fee reductions, lending fee reductions and withdrawal and deposit discounts.
There is little else in terms of token utility apart from these holder discounts. Unlike FTX and other tokens launched by exchanges, LEO cannot be used to create leveraged positions.
Buy-backs and burns
One of the unique features of LEO coin is its intentionally limited lifespan. How does UNUS SED LEO work to achieve this? IFinex commits 27% of gross revenues to a buy-back scheme at prevailing market rates, until no tokens remain in commercial circulation. Since iFinex owns Tether, it should be assumed that this 27% figure includes revenues raised through Tether; Currency.com has requested confirmation of this.
The white paper states that 80% of any BTC recovered from the 2016 hack will also go towards the buy-back scheme. So far, 6.5 BTC have been recovered. Additionally, should iFinex ever recover funds lost from the US government’s seizure of the former payment processor Crypto Capital, 95% of recovered funds is pledged to the buy-back scheme.
UNUS SED LEO Wallets
Because the LEO token was issued on both the Ethereum and EOS blockchains you’ll have no problem finding a wide variety of wallets where you can store the token easily. However, in order to receive all the discounts and benefits offered by holding LEO tokens they need to be held in the Bitfinex online wallet.
While that might not be a problem for you, it does create a problem for those who don’t fully trust the centralized exchanges. There are always hacking concerns, and when it comes to Bitfinex some users remain very skeptical due to the questions surrounding whether or not iFinex has all the reserves they claim to back Tether.
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