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"

38% of Crypto Exchanges Interact With High-Risk Entities in 25% or More of Their Transactions

Leading cryptoasset data provider CryptoCompare has published an updated version of its cryptocurrency Exchange Benchmark. The report details that 38% of crypto exchanges interact with high-risk entities in 25% or more of their transactions.

According to CryptoCompare’s Exchange Benchmark, interactions with high-risk entities are considered when the cryptoasset data provider is raking exchanges. These interactions are measured according to CipherTrace’s Interaction Risk Score, which profiles transactional risk by “deanonymizing risky entities and illicit activities to identify criminal sources of funds and money laundering exposure.”

CryptoCompare then scores exchanges according to the percentage of transactions conducted with entities deemed high-risk. These include criminals, darknet markets and vendors, gambling projects, malware operators, cryptocurrency mixers, ransomware operators, and OFAC sanctions addresses.

The benchmark details that addresses with up to 25% of transactions conducted with these entities receive some points, but those above said mark receive none. Notably, 38% of cryptoasset exchanges were above it.

Data shared in the report detailed that Top-Tier cryptoasset exchanges, those graded AA to B in the report, interact less with these entities, while Lower-Tier exchanges, those rated C-E, interacted more. While both AA-related exchanges, Coinbase and Gemini, had no interactions with high-risk entities, some of the exchanges with A, BB, and B ratings did.

As CryptoGlobe reported, the Exchange Benchmark also revealed Top-Tier exchanges are gaining market share against Lower-Tier exchanges. It details that top-tier exchanges accounted for 32% of the global volumes in Q4 2019, while in the first quarter of this year they accounted for 36%.

In the second quarter of 2020, the Top-Tier exchanges already accounted for 40% of the global trading volume. In June these exchanges got to a 46% market share. Lower-Tier Exchanges, have seen their share of the space’s total trading volume drop from 68% to 60% in the last three quarters.

Featured image via Pixabay.