Announcements

Regarding Forks and Margin Trading
March 29, 2017

Due to the complexities surrounding a potential Bitcoin hardfork event, we would like to communicate Bitfinex’s plan for handling the accounting of margin positions and borrowed funding.

We must, once again, strongly urge the Bitcoin mining community to avoid such an event, if at all possible. The knock-down effects on Bitcoin exchanges and their customers could be severe, causing substantial price fluctuations, inefficient price discovery, and needless customer losses.

In the event of a hardfork that results in a chain split, Bitfinex and other major exchanges—such as Poloniex, Kraken, and GDAX—are faced with the challenge of resolving complex accounting issues in margin trading. Ideally, each exchange would agree to a uniform and coherent methodology; however, each serves different audiences and have different market structures, making a universal solution unworkable. For example, Bitfinex has decided to take a different approach than the one proffered by Poloniex. While we understand Poloniex’s approach may make sense for their business, it is not an approach that ultimately satisfies our operational requirements at Bitfinex.

After much analysis, we have chosen to handle the accounting of margin trading and funding based on the model of how stock spinoffs, dividends, and distributions are handled in equity markets. Specifically, in the case of a hardfork event, lenders will receive both BTC and BTU. Anyone that is short BTC/USD or long any BTC trading pair (ETH/BTC, LTC/BTC, etc.) will owe BTU to the lender, effectively making the user short BTU. An exception is in the case that BTC is borrowed but not in use as margin collateral, in which case BTU accrues to the lender. Users that are margin long BTC/USD or short any BTC trading pair will receive BTU.

This methodology is complex and operationally challenging, but we believe it to be the most economically correct and fair approach for Bitfinex and our customers. Furthermore, we believe it is the only approach that will keep the BTC lending market functioning through a hardfork event. Imagine a hypothetical situation where lenders do not receive BTU. They will simply stop lending if a hardfork appears imminent. And while Bitfinex has, rarely, stepped in to become a lender of last resort, in such a dramatic situation Bitfinex would be unable to—and would not want to—cover demand. Consequently, lending liquidity would completely disappear and Bitfinex would be obliged to begin partial liquidations of margin positions using borrowed BTC that could no longer be renewed. We believe that such a hypothetical outcome should be avoided at all costs. Our plan should prevent the negative consequences of this hypothetical and seems likely to allow the funding market to continue to operate.

While our proposed methodology will ensure a functioning lending market for BTC, borrowers must understand that while their P&Ls may climb during a hardfork event, they will have offsetting BTU liabilities that will be applied to their accounts, but perhaps not immediately. At the moment Bitfinex detects a BTU block that is incompatible with the BTC chain, we will immediately halt the processing of all BTC deposits and withdrawals for all users, and freeze all movements for all currencies for any borrower of BTC. This freeze will last until the BTU accounting can be adequately prepared and addressed. BTC borrowers can hedge or estimate this liability with newly listed Chain Split Tokens (CSTs).

We wish to state clearly and publicly that the scope of any disruption associated with a potential hardfork is in the hands of the Bitcoin Unlimited developers. We request that the Bitcoin Unlimited developers implement strong two-way replay protection and wipeout protection so that, if a hardfork event occurs, we can quickly list BTU and resolve accounting issues for customers with BTU liabilities.

More details on the specific procedures will be forthcoming, but we feel that it is important to address the economic implications as soon as possible so that our customers can plan accordingly.

Upcoming bank holidays on April 3 and 4, 2017
March 29, 2017

Dear Customer,

Because of the Qing Ming Jie Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day) in Taiwan our banks will be closed on Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 April.

During those days there will be no wire deposits and withdrawals processed. On Wednesday 5 April the banks open again.

Chain Split Tokens
March 18, 2017

Today, Bitfinex proudly introduces trading on Chain Split Tokens (CST). The first such product of its kind, CSTs will allow Bitfinex customers to speculate on future fork events of the Bitcoin blockchain, specifically, the potential fork between Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Unlimited. We are designating these CSTs as BCC (Bitcoin Core) and BCU (Bitcoin Unlimited).

CSTs will trade as BTC and USD pairs, initially without margin, and as will any other product with list, we will reevaluate that decision if there is sufficient liquidity.

Users will be able to create CSTs by “splitting” a bitcoin through the Token Manager (located in the Order Type drop down menu of the sidebar order ticket). Once split, the BTC will be removed from your account for each BCC and BCU added. Through the same Token Manager, you will be able to reverse this process at anytime, trading in equal numbers of BCC and BCU to extract BTC.

If no fork occurs by December 31, 2017, then BCU will expire worthless and BTC will be given in exchange for each BCC holder. If, however, there is a fork, specifically Bitcoin Unlimited, then, as soon as we list Bitcoin Unlimited, we will exchange BCU tokens for Bitcoin Unlimited tokens as well as retiring BCC tokens in favor of Bitcoin Core tokens. More detailed information can be found in the Chains Split Token Terms and Conditions.

We are planning a few additional enhancements including a realtime display of total CSTs as well as segregated cold storage for the bitcoins that have been split, which we will periodically settle to and from our hot wallet.

Industry Statement Regarding Hardfork Event
March 17, 2017

Bitfinex is a signatory to the following statement regarding the potential for a Bitcoin Unlimited hardfork to activate on the network. We felt it was necessary to participate in an exchange industry discussion and to communicate our operational intentions regarding a potentially destabilizing hardfork event. We have an obligation to our customers to provide a clear and consistent plan to minimize potential confusion surrounding such an event.

As always, we thank you for choosing Bitfinex during these volatile and uncertain times.

Redemption of 5.00% of BFX Tokens
March 06, 2017

We are pleased to announce the redemption of 5.00% of outstanding BFX tokens. This redemption was applied pro rata to all wallet balances and margin positions, both long and short, on March 6, 2017, at 19:15:00 UTC. The amount of the redemption is based on February’s strong operating results as well as a small reduction in our contingent liability reserves.

After this redemption and February’s equity conversions, 24,539,683 BFX tokens remain issued and outstanding.

As we are rapidly approaching our goal of retiring all outstanding BFX tokens at full face value of $1, we are making an important change to future equity conversions for both direct conversions and through special purpose vehicles (SPVs). After March 31, 2017, BFX tokens will no longer be convertible into iFinex shares at a 1:1 conversion ratio. Starting April 1, 2017, the new conversion ratio will be 0.8 iFinex shares for 1 BFX token.

We retain and reserve the right to discontinue BFX token conversions at any time.

Dash Now Available for Trading
March 03, 2017

Due to increased demand from customers and a maturity of the technology, Bitfinex is happy to announce we are adding Dash to our trading platform. The two new trading pairs - DSHUSD and DSHBTC - will open for exchange trading today, March 3rd, 2017.

Margin trading for Dash pairs will be enabled in the coming days.

Security Notice and Reminder
February 24, 2017

On February 23rd, 2017, one of our service providers, CloudFlare, reported a serious security bug in their software. The bug caused approximately 1 in every 3,300,000 HTTP requests to leak sensitive data.

CloudFlare has fixed the bug in their software and reported that no Bitfinex data was present in the leaked data caches.

However, it is never a bad time to review your security processes and strengthen your passwords. The most important step you can take to secure your account is to enable two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication (2FA) uses your phone or another device to add an extra layer of security for things like logging in and withdrawing funds.

Also please note that CloudFlare is a service provider for many other platforms and Bitcoin companies. Please take a few moments to check your other accounts and enable two-factor authentication on any that support this feature. You can update your Bitfinex password from the Account page and enable 2FA from the Security page.

If you have any questions, concerns, or want guidance on account security, please contact [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.

Bank Holidays
February 23, 2017

Because of Memorial Day in Taiwan the banks will be closed on Monday 27 February and Tuesday 28 February.

During this period there will be no wire deposits and withdrawals processed.

On Wednesday 1 March the banks open again.

API changes for DDoS protection
February 22, 2017

On February 21st and 22nd Bitfinex was the target of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that disrupted service for some users.

Prompt attention by the team limited the disruption to approximately 20 minutes. However, this incident highlights the importance of making further improvements to platform robustness against bad actors.

To improve defenses against such an attack, new request rate-limiting will be enabled for the Bitfinex REST APIs effective immediately.

If an IP address exceeds 90 requests per minute to the REST APIs, the requesting IP address will be blocked for 10-60 seconds and the JSON response {"error": "ERR_RATE_LIMIT"} will be returned. Please note the exact logic and handling for such DDoS defenses may change over time to further improve reliability.

For users who need high-frequency connections, please switch to the WebSockets APIs.

Redemption of 4.60% of BFX Tokens
February 03, 2017

We are pleased to announce the redemption of 4.60% of outstanding BFX tokens. This redemption was applied pro rata to all wallet balances and margin positions, both long and short, on February 3, 2017, at 21:00:00 UTC. The amount of the redemption is based on January's operating results, which were unusally strong, ranking as our second best month ever. We are deeply grateful to our loyal customers and shareholders for helping us achieve this result.

After this redemption and January's equity conversions, there are now 28,784,623 BFX tokens outstanding.

We continue to press forward on all fronts to expeditiously retire BFX tokens through a variety of initiatives including equity conversion with qualified token holders, raising new capital through equity financing, reinvesting operating profits, and prudent reductions in contingent liability reserves. We look forward to sharing further developments with you in due course.