Crypto news site Coindesk has claimed to be in possession of hard evidence that Bitmain, a cryptoasset hardware mining producer, misled potential investors during funding rounds of its recent initial public offering (IPO).
Specifically, they are purportedly in possession of soliciting presentations - “pitch decks” - which falsely reported the participation of several large investment firms in Bitmain’s recent IPO, in order to illicitly garner yet more investor commitment.
Coindesk reports that they are unable to verify the authenticity of each of three versions of a similar document - one in Chinese and two in English - beyond the assertions of their sources that the documents are genuine. Bitmain did not respond to Coindesk’s requests for verification.
The pitch decks, according to Coindesk, claim that Digital Sky Technologies Global (DST) and GIC Private Limited (GIC) participated, along with Sequoia Capital, in a funding round which raised $400 million. Coindesk claims that representatives from DST and GIC later contacted them, refuting reports that they had participated in the funding. Coindesk was thus tipped off to the potentially fraudulent solicitations.
The company may be liable for prosecution in Hong Kong, where the IPO was filed, if the allegations are found to be correct.
Bitmain, registered in Beijing, is known for its manufacture of purpose-built cryptocurrency hardware miners, or application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners. The company’s recent IPO drew headlines for its enormity, with a reported (at the time) $3 billion worth of funding secured.
Turbulent Times for Bitmain
These allegations, if true, are the latest twist in Bitmain’s already turbulent year.
As CryptoGlobe recently reported, the hardware company has already faced accusations of “misleading” potential investors on this very same IPO, by apparently attempting to obfuscate observations that it had become unprofitable during the course of 2018.
CryptoGlobe also recently reported on potentially damaging effects of recent U.S. sanctions against imports on Chinese electronics.
Bitmain makes the bulk of its revenue from overseas sales of its ASIC miners - 62.8% according to its IPO filing document - and thus could stand to be hit by heavy losses - although the unknown variable is exactly how much of its sales goes to the U.S. in particular.
Finally, the general implosion of cryptoasset prices has hit Bitmain’s considerable holdings of Bitcoin Cash (BCH).