Unus Sed Leo (LEO) tokens came into the crypto space just last year in 2019. Soaring past most coins and tokens on the market and is ranked #19 by market cap at the time of this writing. LEO is a utility token that will serve to specific platforms and services.
Birth of LEO
iFinex Inc, (iFinex) is the company behind the crypto exchange Bitfinex and seeing the success of Binance exchange with their own BNB token, they created the LEO utility token for the use of their platforms and services. They managed to still hold their Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) in May 2019 despite their controversies and legal troubles along with Tether (USDT) that started back in April 2019. The IEO raised an estimated $1 billion in 10 days and there were 1 billion LEO tokens available where 660 million was launched on the EOS blockchain and 340 million on Ethereum.
Unus Sed Leo is Latin for "One, but a lion" and originates from Aesop's fable, "The Sow and the Lioness". It is the company motto for iFinex to represent quality over quantity and perhaps they may need to return to focusing on that motto and LEO token is one of those ways they are attempting to do it.
To have a better understanding of LEO, we'll have to go back to the infamous Bitfinex hack that happened in 2016 where 120,000 BTC was stolen from the exchange. Valued at an estimated $72 million at the time, the size of the loss had a huge impact on the exchange and its customers. After the hack, Bitfinex was in recovery mode and created a couple of tokens specifically for getting back the losses.
Aside from the hack, Bitfinex was working with Crypto Capital that helped provide payment processing somehow lost $850 million of Bitfiniex's money.
So Hot it Burns
Trying to maintain liquidity, that is when iFinex decided to launch the LEO token to be integrated into Bitfinex and their other platforms and services they offer. LEO tokens were a way for Bitfinex to cover their losses where the public would purchase the token and after some time do buy-back and burn the tokens.
Monthly revenues will be used to buy back and burn the LEO tokens until no more are left in circulation. When comparing to Binance with their BNB coin where they are burning their coins until half of the supply is left in circulation, many in the crypto community expect to see the price rise quickly.
- On a monthly basis, iFinex and its affiliates will buy back LEO from the market equal to a minimum of 27% of the consolidated gross revenues of iFinex (exclusive of Ethfinex) from the previous month, until no tokens are in commercial circulation. Repurchases will be made at then-prevailing market rates. LEO tokens used to pay fees may also be used to satisfy this repurchase commitment.
- In addition to the above, an amount equal to at least 95% of recovered net funds from Crypto Capital (described more fully herein) will be used to repurchase and burn outstanding LEO tokens within 18 months from the date of recovery.
- Further, an amount equal to at least 80% of recovered net funds from the BitFinex hack will be used to repurchase and burn outstanding LEO tokens within 18 months from the date of recovery.
Some Added Benefits
At the same time with the success of the BNB token, allowed for the LEO token to be used as a utility token for the Bitfinex exchange and offer many similar benefits as others.
BITFINEX TAKER FEE REDUCTION
- All levels of LEO holders’ taker fees will be reduced by 15% over all crypto-to-crypto pairs (including crypto-to-stablecoin).
- Taker fees will be reduced by an additional 10% over all crypto-to-crypto pairs (including crypto-to stablecoin) for traders with on average > 5,000 USDt in LEO tokens in their account during the previous month (calculated using every day in the month).
- LEO holding traders can also reduce taker fees by up to 6bps (=0.06%) on all trading pairs (including crypto-to-fiat), to a floor of the minimum taker fee of 2.5bps. For LEO holdings valued =< 1m USDt (on average) in the previous month, taker fees are reduced by 0.02 bps per 10,000 USDt increment. For LEO holdings valued above 1m USDt (on average) in the previous month, taker fees are reduced by 0.01bps per 50,000 USDt increment. The maximum taker fee reduction is thus reached at holding of 21m USDt in LEO (on average) in the previous month. Any reduction resulting in a taker fee below the 2.5bps minimum will not be applied. (Monthly averages are calculated using every day in the month.)
- Up to 25% of trading fees will be deducted first in LEO, if the trader holds LEO tokens.
- Traders can buy any fee tier in LEO for 30 days, for an amount of LEO equal to 75% of the delta between the average fees that would be generated in one month by that tier and the current trader tier, in USDt equivalent. Once 30 days has passed, the normal fee schedule will be applied.
- Fee reductions are subject to change in Bitfinex’s discretion due to
changes in fee schedules or otherwise.
BITFINEX LENDING FEE REDUCTION
- P2P financing lenders will get a fee discount equal to 0.05% for every 10,000 USDt in LEO tokens held (on average) in the trader’s account during the previous month (calculated using every day in the month).
- The maximum discount is capped at 5%.
- Fee reductions are subject to change in Bitfinex’s discretion due to changes in fee schedules or otherwise.
BITFINEX CRYPTO AND FIAT WITHDRAWALS AND DEPOSITS FEE DISCOUNT
- LEO holders will receive up to a 25% crypto withdrawal and deposit fee discount.
- Holders of > 50m USDt worth of LEO tokens (on average) in the previous month (calculated using every day in the month) are able to withdraw 2m USD fiat per month without additional fees. Also, the additional fee will be reduced to 2% (instead of 3%) on any withdrawal above 2m USD fiat monthly.
- Fee reductions are subject to change in Bitfinex’s discretion due to changes in fee schedules or otherwise. BITFINEX DERIVATIVES TAKER FEE REDUCTION (FORTHCOMING)
- Taker fees will be reduced by 0.01 bps for every 10,000 USDt in LEO tokens held (on average) in the trader’s account during the previous month (calculated using every day in the month). The maximum discount is capped at 2bps.
- Fee reductions are subject to change in Bitfinex’s discretion due to changes in fee schedules or otherwise. OTHER IFINEX TRADING PLATFORMS, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES
- eosfinex will make similar discounts available for holders of LEO tokens.
- Future iFinex trading platforms, products, and services expect to make similar fee reductions and/or other features and benefits available to LEO token holders.
Read the Whitepaper for full details.
LEO token was performing quite well last year during the months of its IEO and Google Trends does seem to reflect that showing the interest over that time.
The interest over the coin is has gone down since the bear market was taking its hold during the 2018-2019 years.
Despite the bear market, LEO managed to get listed on other exchanges and is a good sign that Bitfiniex can reach its goal to cover the losses of its customers and its own.
Currently with a market cap of almost $950 million, with a 24-hour trading volume of roughly $7.6 million, is down slightly over 50% from its all-time high of around $2 per LEO.
The IEO price was $1 per token and the current ROI for LEO since the IEO is at -2.73% but investors that managed to take profit during the highs in 2019 got to see a larger ROI. However, these numbers do not reflect its overall ROI since the use of the utility token offers discounts on iFinex's platforms and services.
The Long Recovery Ahead
Dealing with their losses, iFinex has a long way to go on their recovery efforts. Their legal battles and controversial decisions that were made have brought some challenges for them to win back over the crypto community. Especially, their customers that were affected by the hack.
With many crypto projects out there, one way to determine part of the value is the growth it has had since it began. Despite coming up on being only 1 year old, there is not much news on the growth of the LEO token and not much is expected to be as it is designed to have its entire supply removed from circulation.
While jumping to be #19 by market cap, LEO has been competing with other exchange tokens such as BNB, OKB, HT, and many others but those 3, in particular, are ranked higher than LEO by market cap.
LEO may have come late into the exchange token game and other tokens may be more attractive to crypto investors/hodlers/traders but on top of all that, the ongoing legal battle with the New York Attorney General may be a deterring factor to many which make LEO's future and growth still questionable. While it may be considered a "higher risk" token to be investing in, there are still many unknown factors like the shift in regulations that have caused many exchanges and other projects to close its doors. We'll have to see what follows of their legal battles and how the crypto market evolves but take into mind that they still do have access to large amounts of liquidity.
Lastly, this is not investment/trading advice and always do your own research.