China Construction Bank, one of the country's big four state-owned banks, has partnered with a digital exchange to raise up to $3 billion from a sale of bond that individuals and institutions can trade with US dollars or Bitcoin.
The bond would roll over every three months and pay annualized interest of Libor plus 50 basis points, or approximately 0.75%.
The securities can be purchased by investors all over the world, with the exception of tax residents of the US and China, for as little as $100.
The deal is being arranged by a branch of China Construction Bank located in Labuan, a small offshore financial center in Malaysia that is a tax haven. The digital bond will be listed on the Fusang Exchange, a bourse that also facilitates the trading of crypto currencies.
The exchange accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment, and will convert it into US dollars for investors buying the digital bonds. Investors can only purchase the bonds via the exchange.
Henry Chong, chief executive of Fusang Exchange, said the deal would allow global investors to "benefit from access to an investment previously reserved for only the largest institutions, together with low and transparent fees".
"From our perspective, we are taking bank deposits, which is our core business," said Steven Wong, the chief operating and financial strategist for China Construction Bank (Malaysia). He said the bank considers this a pilot and an innovative offering. "The bank is not dealing in Bitcoin or crypto currencies."