CRYPTO-BACKED peer-to-peer platform EQUI has doubled its payout to bounty hunters for promoting its initial coin offering (ICO).
EQUI – co-founded by entrepreneur Baroness Michelle Mone (pictured) and her venture capitalist partner Doug Barrowman – launched an ICO in March to let retail investors acquire stakes in or lend to early-stage businesses using EQUItokens.
The ICO was expected to last for six weeks before being extended to 30 June, but reports later emerged that it failed to hit its target and that those who helped promote the campaign – known as bounty hunters – were unhappy with how much they had received in return.
The bounty hunters were due to receive two per cent of what was raised in the ICO, but a dispute emerged over whether this should be after refunds to investors.
EQUI said in a statement that its ICO raised 843.33ETH (£184,131) before 57.8ETH was returned to investors who requested a refund after the fundraise was put on hold so the business could be relaunched globally.
This left 785.53ETH, and now EQUI has announced it will pay out five per cent to bounty hunters instead and has appointed a dedicated bounty manager to oversee the process.
A statement from EQUI said it decided to stop the ICO in order to prepare for a global launch with a new co-founder that changed its tokenomics model. The new business will be rebranded EQUI Global.
“As it was EQUI’s decision to stop our ICO to show appreciation for bounty hunters’ hard work and dedication to the project we will be increasing the reward for the bounty payout from two per cent to five per cent,” EQUI said.
“One of the main issues with the EQUI token project and why EQUI has been forced to pay hunters via ETH and not their own token is the regulations and recent changes to the securities laws.
“A recent ruling states that even bounty hunters who are issued tokens must pass know-your-customer and anti-money laundering verifications.
“Also, as EQUI is changing its utility token for a block security token, the decision was made that payouts would be made in ETH rather than EQUI tokens. This meant that even bounty hunters from the USA and China could receive their rewards.”
The raised payout for bounty hunters comes amid rumours that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is working with the investment platform on a global relaunch.
A spokesperson for EQUI declined to comment on Wozniak’s involvement in the business.
Read more: Blockchain special feature