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UNUS SED LEO (LEO) is a utility token launched by iFinex, the parent company of Bitfinex, in 2019. It is designed to empower the Bitfinex community and provide utility for users of the exchange. The name LEO comes from the Latin phrase “Unus Sed Leo,” meaning “One but a Lion” – representing the unified community empowered by the LEO token.

History of LEO Token

LEO token was launched as a response to the loss of $850 million of Bitfinex funds held by payment processor Crypto Capital. Bitfinex conducted an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) in May 2019, raising $1 billion through selling LEO tokens. The proceeds were used to cover the losses so that Bitfinex could fully compensate all users.

This successful IEO showcased the strong Bitfinex community, as LEO tokens quickly sold out. It was also an innovative method of covering losses while avoiding bankruptcy. The resilience and creativity demonstrated has made LEO one of the more compelling crypto origin stories.


The LEO token utilizes a unique burning mechanism that decreases supply over time. First, iFinex buys back LEO from the market on a monthly basis and burns the tokens. This applies downward pressure on circulating supply.

Second, Bitfinex and other iFinex platforms like Ethfinex generate profit from fees. A portion of this profit is used to repurchase and burn LEO tokens. In essence, the success of iFinex benefits LEO holders.

This aligned incentive structure, coupled with the strong utilities offered to LEO holders have made the tokenomics particularly robust. Despite market volatility, LEO has shown resilience and maintained value well relative to peers.

Trading on Exchanges

LEO is currently traded on a few major exchanges including Bitfinex, Gate.io, ZB.com, MXC and Hoo. It has high trading volume on Bitfinex in particular, partly due to incentives offered exclusively to LEO holders.

For example, LEO holders can get discounts on certain trades, receive airdrops of IEO tokens, and reduce their taker fees. LEO can also be lent out to margin traders to generate yield. These perks increase demand and trading activity for the token.

As LEO matures, there is ample room for further exchange adoption. Its unique use cases and technical robustness make it an attractive trading asset. This could lead to increased accessibility down the line.

Use Cases and Adoption

Aside from the utilities offered on Bitfinex, there are several other growing use cases for LEO. For one, it can be used as collateral for decentralized loans and borrowing. Platforms like AAVE have integrated LEO so holders can take out loans against their tokens.

LEO is also being accepted as a form of payment by an increasing number of merchants. From VPN providers to luxury goods dealers, LEO’s usefulness as a transactional currency continues to expand.

As adoption grows, entrepreneurs are starting to build specifically on LEO too. For example, Paraswap launched LeoSwap, an AMM decentralized exchange built on the EOS blockchain and focused on swaps between LEO and other tokens.

Technology and Development

LEO is an ERC-20 token issued on the Ethereum blockchain. This allows it to leverage the robust technical infrastructure around Ethereum. The total supply at launch was 1,000,000,000 tokens, with an initial circulating supply of 680 million.

The iFinex team continues to improve LEO, introducing new technical upgrades over time. For example, LEO was migrated to the EOS blockchain in 2019 to enhance performance and scalability. Features like trustless swaps between the ERC-20 and EOS tokens were added to facilitate the transition.

Ongoing technology optimization and integrations have strengthened LEO’s capabilities. As iFinex builds out its product ecosystem, LEO will likely serve as an integral piece interconnecting the various offerings.

Future Outlook

Given its strong performance and entrenchment in the iFinex ecosystem, LEO appears poised for growth alongside Bitfinex and Ethfinex. As more exchanges get onboarded, trading volumes are likely to increase.

LEO also has room to expand its utility. Integrations like lending/borrowing and merchant payments are still in their early stages. DeFi and NFTs present additional opportunities to deepen LEO’s functionalities. Partnerships could also rapidly expand its reach.

While legal uncertainty around Bitfinex still poses some risks, LEO has so far proven resilient even during periods of regulatory scrutiny. As long as the iFinex operators continue demonstrating strong execution, LEO has a bright future.


Since its inception after the Bitfinex hack of 2019, LEO has made impressive strides. Its novel token burning mechanisms and deep utility for the Bitfinex ecosystem make it one of the more unique cryptocurrencies around.

Backed by a strong community and the resources of iFinex, LEO has withstood volatility and skepticism. As adoption grows and new use cases emerge, LEO is positioned to see significant value creation over the long-term. The journey of this singular but mighty “lion” is just getting started.


UNUS SED LEO is a cryptocurrency launched in 2019 by the iFinex crypto exchange. It was created when iFinex wanted to recover $850 million of funds frozen by authorities.

UNUS SED LEO was founded by iFinex, the parent company of the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange. iFinex issued the tokens so it could raise money to cover lost funds.

UNUS SED LEO can be purchased on major crypto exchanges like Bitfinex, Huobi, and Gate.io. See a full list of exchanges where UNUS SED LEO is traded here on CoinMarketCap.

UNUS SED LEO and other cryptocurrencies can be safely stored in a non-custodial wallet like IronWallet. Non-custodial wallets give users full control of their private keys for maximum security.

UNUS SED LEO is different from other cryptocurrencies because it was issued by a private company rather than having a public launch. Its supply is also fixed, unlike coins like Bitcoin that have a diminishing release rate.

UNUS SED LEO cannot be mined like Bitcoin. Its entire supply was issued at launch.

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