Bancor Raised $153 Million and Found Actual Users. Why Did Its Token Tank?

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Two years after the token boom, the value of Bancor's BNT token is in the dumps - sinking from $4.49 in July 2017 to an all-time low last week of $0.44, according to CoinMarketCap.

Yoni Assia, CEO of the crypto exchange eToro, described the $153 million Bancor ICO as a "Pivotal" moment for the industry and told CoinDesk he is holding BNT because he believes in the team.

The Bancor platform, which provides quick liquidity for niche ERC-20 tokens by using BNT as a market-making reserve currency for all assets on the network, has routinely attracted 100-250 traders a week, according to Etherscan's tally of BNT token transactions.

"Generally, I use Bancor for trading. Bancor offers the use of my wallet or tokens without limitations."

According to paperwork filed with the Israeli Corporations Authority, Bancor co-founders Galia and Guy Benartzi now own shares in several startups including BlockchainIL, LiquidEOS and LiquidApps, which is currently operating another token sale.

As for LocalCoin Ltd, the for-profit Israeli entity contracted by the non-profit Bancor Foundation to work on the platform, BNT holder Tim Draper is listed alongside Bancor's founding team as one of the startup's shareholders.

"I hope to see Bancor tokens being used as everything from simple marketplace tokens, to individual tokens where each worker will have a token and employers will have to buy [BNT] to get [employees] to work for them."

Bancor has a built-in backdoor to help protect such users in case of emergency, although some experts believe that could complicate the team's legal responsibilities.

Two anonymous Israeli sources told CoinDesk the Bancor team has allegedly been contacted by the SEC. As global regulators continue to clarify which digital assets are deemed securities, Bancor continues to regularly serve hundreds of traders.

Among companies funded by token sales to retail investors, that usage alone makes Bancor an anomaly.