Bitcoin Mining Hardware Manufacturer Bitmain to Invest $50 Million in Opera Browser’s IPO

Francisco Memoria
  • Opera Ltd, the company behind popular web browser Opera, is reportedly going to launch an IPO.
  • Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain willl reportedly invest $50 million in the company.

Last week, Opera Ltd., the parent company of Opera Software, a company that makes and operates the mobile and desktop browser Opera, has recently filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain is said to be investing $50 million.

Opera’s move, according to Reuters, will see the company raise up to $115 million. It will list its American Depositary Shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker “OPRA.” Its products, per reports, have over 320 million active users per month, giving it a 1.5 percent share of the web browser market.

The company is said to be planning on selling $50 million to Tosping Technology Ltd., and another $10 million to two other buyers. Tospring is also known Bitmain, a company that reportedly had a profit of $3 to $4 billion last year.

Opera itself isn’t notably closely related to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, but has offered its users attractive tools in its browsers. These include cryptojacking protection that stops malware from using their CPU resources to mine cryptos, and a currency converter that works with cryptocurrencies.

The software company will reportedly use the IPO’s proceeds on research and development (R&D), marketing, strategic partnerships, and working capital. Its products automatically block ads, so Opera makes money through agreements with various partners.

In 2016, Opera made $107 million in revenue, but lost $12.7 million that year. Last year, it made $129 million in revenue, out of which $6.1 million were profit. Bitmain, as CryptoGlobe covered, has been developing operations outside of China, in the US.

As reported the company, led by 32-year-old Jihan Wu, was considering its own IPO last month, as it was looking to expand even further Currently, its mining operations concern some in the BTC community, as its mining pools come close to having 51 percent of the network’s hashrate.

Australian Central Bank Governor Skeptical of Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Libra

  • Australian Central Bank Governor believes Facebook's Libra will fail to live up to its hype.
  • Central Banks around the globe are under pressure as digital currencies become more prevalent. 

The head of Australia’s central bank Philip Lowe remains skeptical of Facebook’s recently announced digital currency, Libra.

Regulators Respond

Libra has managed to garner a vast amount of regulatory attention, despite only being officially announced this month. The U.S. Senate has already moved for a hearing to be held next week, with David Marcus, Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook -- leader of Facebook's cryptocurrency project Calibra -- expected to be in attendance.

Facebook has over 2 billion active users, creating the potential for Libra to become one of the world’s most used currencies upon launch. And of course, central banks around the world are taking notice.

‘Water Under the Bridge’ for Libra

Lowe, who has been Governor of the Australian central bank since 2016, has a history of skepticism towards cryptocurrency. In a Q&A session held on Thursday, June 20, he explained that Facebook’s new currency will fail to live up to the hype,

“There’s a lot of water under the bridge before Facebook’s proposal becomes something we’re using all the time.”

He continued,

“There are a lot of regulatory issues that need to be addressed and they’ve got to make sure there’s a solid business case, so we’ve got to be careful before we jump to conclusions.”

Lowe has been critical of cryptoassets in the past, taking aim at bitcoin in 2017 when he described the currency as “speculative mania”. He also said at the time that cryptocurrency would be more appealing to criminals than actual customers.

Central Banks Under Fire

Earlier in the week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney gave his official stance on Facebook’s coin, claiming that it could be important for cross-border transactions. However, Carney warned that the new currency would be held to the highest standard and that the BOE held an “open mind but not an open door” attitude towards Libra.

Central Banks around the world are appearing cautious in their treatment of Libra, and for good reason. Given the reach of Facebook as a global platform, the currency has the potential to disrupt existing fiat institutions--an idea being lauded by members of the cryptocurrency community.

However, other community members remain frustrated with Facebook’s attempt to portray Libra as a cryptocurrency despite its obvious centralization, including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao

Nonetheless, Libra remains a massive opportunity to increase the exposure of cryptocurrencies to a mainstream audience. It comes as no surprise bitcoin has reached a new high in price for 2019 following the attention generated by Facebook's new coin.