Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain Considering an IPO

Avi Rosten
  • Bitmain - the world’s leading producer of cryptocurrency mining chips - is considering an IPO
  • Talking to Bloomberg, CEO Jihan Wu indicated that a listing might be on the cards as the Chinese company looks to expand

Bitmain - the world’s leading producer of cryptocurrency mining chips - is considering an IPO.

According to the report today in Bloomberg, 32-year-old CEO Jihan Wu is pondering the idea of a listing for the Beijing-based company - which until recently had been very secretive about its value and financial plans.

Founded by Wu and Micree Zhan, the company has become incredibly profitable - recording a $2.5bn revenue last year, and has become famous for its powerful Antminer range of ASIC cryptocurrency miners (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits: chips designed specifically for crpytocurrency mining).

With Wu claiming the company to be worth $12bn, Bloomberg estimated a valuation of close to $9bn based on comparisons with other publically traded non-crypto chipmakers such as Nvidia. Although it is unclear whether investors would view a company in the crypto market in the same way - a figure in that ballpark doesn’t seem unreasonable given Bitmain’s impressive figures.

While Wu said that he had no specific intentions for a listing at the moment, the report does suggests that the CEO is warming to the idea of an IPO as the company expands its operations beyond the cryptocurrency arena. With the company pursuing ventures into artificial intelligence, he remarked:

“The challenge is advancing our technology beyond what we’ve already achieved,”

Jihan Wu

With the Chinese official position on cryptocurrencies standing in stark contrast to their recent encouragment of blockhcain technology, a move beyond the mining sector would also sit well at home.

Controlling up to 80% of the crypto mining hardware market, the company also runs some of the largest mining pools - Antpool and BTC.com.

Many within the industry have voiced concerns over the power these two mining pools exert over the bitcoin market - controlling over 40% of the market according to blockchain.info - and how this might conflict with the spirit of decentralisation that animates much of the cryptocurrency space.

 

Featured Image Credit: "Bitcoin Mining" by "Marco Verch" via Flickr; licensed under "CC BY 2.0"

Swiss Cryptocurrency Bank SEBA Expands to Nine New Markets

The Switzerland-based cryptocurrency-focused bank SEBA has announced it’s now taking in client from nine additional jurisdictions, apart from its home market in Switzerland.

According to the announcement, SEBA is now taking in clients from Singapore, Hong Kong, U.K., Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Portugal, and the Netherlands. The move will also see the banking startup taking in institutional clients from these jurisdictions.

SEBA notably received a banking license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in August of this year, and was set up in April of last year. The bank’s CEO, Guido Buehler, was quoted as saying:

With our services we want to redefine the customer-bank relationship and give clients a simple but the most secure banking experience both in the new and old financial world.

The banking startup has also introduced various new services since it was launched. These include banking services for banks and pensions funds, as well as for professional private investors and asset managers. Its services also include the tokenization of rights, assets, and investment products.

Being a crypto-focused startup it also offers wallet and e-banking services to its clients, allowing them to store five cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ether, Stellar Lumens, Litecoin, and Ether Classic.

The firm isn’t alone in its offering, however, as its rival Sygnum has also gotten a banking license in Switzerland in August, and went live a month after.

Featured image via Pexels