Bitcoin Mining Hardware Manufacturer Terminates IPO Filing Process

Justine Pope

Reuters - Canaan Inc., the first company to manufacture Bitcoin-specific Application-Specific Integrated Chips (ASICs), has failed to complete their IPO application, and due to a six month time lapse since the opening of their filing, the IPO will not be completed at this time.

Canaan filed their IPO application six months ago. Initially, their IPO fundraising goals started at $2B, but after the cryptocurrency markets continued to slide, they revised their figures to $1B, then $400M. 

Canaan's History

Since 2013, Canaan has been one of the largest producers of large scale mining equipment. Unlike many other competitors, their equipment must be bought in bulk, targeting large-scale Bitcoin mining operations. They offer cutting-edge 7 nm chips, that promise hashing capabilities of up to 20 TH/s, all in an open-source package.

Although Canaan’s current IPO application won’t be finished, they can refile their application at any time. Canaan is one of three mining manufacturers filing IPO’s on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The others are Ebang and Bitmain, whose IPO has caused quite the stir in the cryptocurrency space. Bitmain is still in the filing process.

IPO Woes

It does not seem like the lapse in application was due to regulation issues. The changes in the IPO fundraising targets hints that they might be having trouble convincing investors to participate in the IPO.

In addition, regulators seem to be warming up to cryptocurrency. Two weeks ago, the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) issued a statement that they would be looking to expand their work with “virtual assets” companies. Their aim would be to help clean up the grey area surrounding cryptocurrencies, that exists “in light of the significant risks virtual assets pose to investors.”

Some people close to the deal are casting doubts on the future of the IPO. A senior equity capital markets banker, who wished not to be named, explained:

with the bitcoin price dropping so much this year, there’s a lot of uncertainties over their business. If we cannot forecast their financials, how can we sell their IPOs?

Microsoft's Bing Reportedly Blocked Over 5 Million Cryptocurrency Ads Last Year

Francisco Memoria

Microsoft’s search engine Bing has reportedly blocked over 5 million cryptocurrency-related ads last year, as a result of a ban the search engine enacted in an attempt to protect its users from fraudsters.

According to Bing’s ad quality review, the company’s bad account takedowns doubled in 2018, with cryptocurrency, weapons, and third-party tech support scams being the main problems it faced. Overall, Bing suspended “nearly 200,000 accounts” last year, and removed 900 million ads from its platform.

As covered, Bing banned cryptocurrency-related ads back in May, in a move it claimed was made to protect users from scammers, as the crypto market being unregulated meant cryptocurrencies “present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers.”

At the time Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo, who published the company’s blog post on the move, wrote:

To help protect our users from this risk, we have made the decision to disallow advertising for cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency related products, and un-regulated binary options. Bing Ads will implement this change to our financial product and services policy globally in June, with enforcement rolling out in late June to early July.

The move saw cryptocurrencies join other questionable products and services Microsoft banned from its platform. These include Ponzi and pyramid schemes, and the mentioned third-party tech support scams.

Bing notably banned cryptocurrency-related ads following bans enacted by search giant Google and social media giant Facebook. These two firms have since started allowing crypto-related ads from a few companies.

At the time, various cryptocurrency associations threatened lawsuits against the tech giants over what they claimed to be “cartel collusion” against cryptos, made in an attempt to manipulate the market.

Although Microsoft’s search engine has banned crypto ads, the tech giant itself has been accepting bitcoin payments since 2014. Its website even has a how-to page walking users through the process of topping up their accounts using BTC.