September 22 Update
AVAX mainnet has been launched and, as it turns out, IOU price was actually lower than mainnet market prices. Many had incorrectly speculated that IOU’s were selling at unreal multiples.
As price discovery proceeds, on its 4th hour of trading AVAX coins are selling for U$ 6.45 at Binance (a 651% gain from the private sale).
Here’s a CoinMarketCap snapshot from moments ago (9/22 9:50 AM GMT):
Keep in mind, though, that the vast majority of early investors and community partners are unable to sell their AVAX coins at this time. Private sale options A and B, as well as community workers and bounty beneficiaries, have their AVAX locked for 1 year.
Only private sale option C buyers are able to trade their coins at the time of this writing.
ELI5 AVAX IOU
The AVAX IOU note that is currenly being traded over the counter exchanges is not an official Ava Labs coin.
According to official information from Ava Labs representatives, there is no officially issued IOU.
AVAX IOU’s are issued by third parties and may or may not be legitimate. Please proceed with caution when trading any non-official AVAX derivative.
There is no guarantee that you’ll receive the AVAX coins at a later date.
AVAX IOU Price
Despite the AVAX public sale having limited coin price to U$ 0.85 on average, the IOU is currently traded at several times multiple of this price.
In some exchanges, the IOU is trading for U$ 6 or more, a 7x multiple from the most expensive tier in the public sale.
How to buy AVAX?
Currently (mid August 2020), there is no way to buy AVAX.
Since the Avalanche mainnet has not been released yet, there are no AVAX coins in circulation. It’s physically impossible to transfer AVAX coins at this time.
If you see any AVAX coins for sale, then it’s either foul play using a ERC20 token that’s using the same name, or some mix up where AVA or some other similarly named token is being confused for AVAX.