Binance is back in business.
After a hiccup last week, suffering the sixth-largest hack of a cryptocurrency exchange in history, Binance has reopened its doors, and it’s coming out guns blazing.
Today, the world’s leading crypto exchange announced the details of its next funding project to be hosted on its token-sale platform Binance Launchpad: Harmony.
Harmony, a new public blockchain project with a team based in Silicon Valley, will conduct its initial-exchange offering (IEO) on the Binance Launchpad on May 28. The company aims to unload 12.6 billion ONE tokens at a hard cap of $5 million. Given the way IEOs on Binance have performed in the past—with tokens selling out in mere minutes, if not seconds—the sale will follow the same lottery-style rules for token-hungry investors as other recent high-performing IEOs.
Binance cleverly (though some might say “shrewdly”) incentivizes buying and holding its native BNB token to increase an IEO shopper’s chances of landing that golden ticket. Binance users will be able to claim up to 5 lottery tickets based on their average BNB holdings through the 7-day sale period—the more they hold, the better their odds. Each ticket then enables the investor to purchase up to $300 worth of Harmony’s ONE token.
Binance plans to allocate a maximum of 16,666 tickets to the Harmony investor pool. And if that sounds like a lot of carnival rides, bear in mind that previous IEOs for BitTorrent, Fetch, and Celer on the Binance Launchpad each left investors eager for more.
As always, sales on Binance Launchpad are jurisdiction-restricted, so these tokens are all off limits to U.S. investors—as well as those in Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Yemen, and a long list of sanction-riddled countries.
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Binance, of course, isn’t the only IEO game in town any more. More and more big-name exchanges are following suit, such as Huobi, OKEx, and KuCoin. Even the beleaguered exchange Bitfinex is doing its own IEO—for itself—selling LEO tokens as a way to recoup funds lost to a shady pseudo-bank south of the border.
And regulators are none too pleased. Just days ago, the SEC’s crypto czar, Valerie Szczepanik, out and out said that exchanges hosting IEOs may be breaking U.S. laws if either the buyers or the issuers are based in the United States.
Unlike previous startups who sold their tokenized wares through Binance, Harmony is based in the U.S.—Cupertino, California. It’s unclear, though, if the company may be registered in a foreign jurisdiction and may thus avoid SEC scrutiny.
Harmony representatives did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.
As crypto startups and entrepreneurs become increasingly aware of the regulatory challenges that may thwart their token-sale dreams, many are turning to much safer, way less sexy alternatives like STOs.
IEOs, however, buck that trend—perhaps the last throes of the ICO Wild West.
It’s also worth noting that while crypto startups that have raised funds on Binance through an IEO have done phenomenally well at the outset, their token prices haven’t held up. Investors in Celer, for example, are currently down 60 percent, and those that bought Fetch tokens when it launched have lost more than 65 percent of their investment.
Such is the state of risky crypto ventures.
Here’s to you, Harmony, and your scores of prospective investors—may the odds be ever in your favor.