On August 24, INX launched a tokenized initial public offering or IPO which was cleared by the SEC. The company describes its mission as bringing “regulated digital asset opportunities to institutions and retail investors”.
The following day, several crypto influencers tweeted what appeared to be promotional statements about the company and its token. Stefan Jespers, known as WhalePanda on Twitter, compared the INX token to Binance’s BNB:
A similar sentiment was voiced by Jameson Lopp, the CTO of Casa and a self-proclaimed cypherpunk:
Both Jespers and Lopp are considered Bitcoin maximalists — a group that some categorize as holding negative attitudes towards altcoins and token offerings. Their statements left many feeling befuddled, with some surmising that the Twitter accounts in question may have been compromised. In the end, there was a more prosaic explanation for this unusual behavior, however. According to a tweet by CobraBitcoin, the long-time custodian of Bitcoin.org’s website, the individuals in question had received INX options at $0.01 per token. He alleged that this would allow them to make a 90x profit during the IPO:
Other notable members of the Bitcoin maximalist camp appeared as company advisors as well, including Alena Vranova, the founder of SatoshiLabs and Samson Mow, the chief strategy officer at Blockstream. All parties, with the exception of Mow, are listed on the company’s website. Neither Vranova or Mow have tweeted about the exchange or its public offering.
Company advisors often receive various stock options as payment for their support. However, some may find it hypocritical that the same people who have accused others of selling “snake oil” are now promoting a token offering without offering the proper disclosures.
Blockstream’s CEO Adam Back recently likened many of the biggest altcoin projects to a Ponzi scheme. He does not appear to mind Mow’s position at INX, however.