ASIC Builder Canaan Considering US IPO After Hong Kong Filing Rejected

Colin Muller

Canaan Creative, a producer of application-specific integrated-circuit cryptocurrency miners (ASICs) and competitor to Bitmain, is considering conducting an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the US after its IPO application to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) lapsed and was therefore rejected by default. Bloomberg reported the news today citing insider sources.

The China-based ASIC firm is in talks to “[sell] shares in New York as soon as [H1],” according to Bloomberg. Canaan had hoped to be trading on the HKEX by July 2018, after filing in May.

CryptoGlobe reported in November that Canaan’s IPO application in Hong Kong had expired to no result, despite backing from big names such as Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group. The firm had to continuously adjust its raising targets down, first from $2 billion to 1$ billion, then to $400,000.

An anonymous source, cited by CoinDesk, claimed that the HKEX was tepid on crypto-related businesses because of the industry’s youth and volatility, and that this coolness was causing delays in application approval. The source added that “The HKEX doesn’t want to be the first exchange in the world to approve [an ASIC producer] and have [it] die on them”

The three largest ASIC producers - Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang - had all filled for IPOs in Hong Kong during 2018. Bitmain’s and Ebang’s prospects for approval are not much better.

Success in the US?

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) recently reported that the HKEX, briefly an attractive IPO destination for Chinese tech firms after a 2018 reform of its listing rules, is rapidly waning in popularity in favor of US listing.

This is apparently due to the poor market performance of tech companies listed in Hong Kong, below expectations. Analysts cited by the SCMP claim that the US has a “a deeper investor base for technology companies,” and that IPOs there could be smaller and still succeed.

Canaan reported $191 million of revenue in 2017, according to its HKEX filing - far dwarfed by Bitmain’s $2.5 billion revenue during the same period.

ConsenSys Confirms 'Vast Expansion' of Blockchain Industry

The developers at ConsenSys, a Brooklyn, New York-based organization focused on Ethereum-related development, have published a blog post in which they revealed that the nascent blockchain ecosystem “continues to see vast expansion all over the world.”

According to ConsenSys’ management, the evolving distributed ledger technology (DLT) industry needs business development and project managers, UI/UX designers, software architects, and adequate capital allocation.

Large blockchain-focused enterprises and major DLT-based infrastructural projects have now been launched as the crypto industry continues to grow, ConsenSys’ blog post noted. Crypto startups have also “grown into formidable businesses” with “growing hiring needs”, the ConsenSys team revealed.

“Need for Thousands of Non-Tech Roles”

In order to help blockchain job seekers get started, the ConsenSys team has compiled a handy “knowledge checklist”, links to useful DLT-related information, “learning hubs”, and other pertinent resources.

Per the developers at ConsenSys: 

It’s not all cryptography and distributed systems, there’s a need for thousands of non-technical roles ranging from publicists to content creators, community managers and admin positions.

However, the majority of blockchain-related jobs require skilled developers and the need for experienced software architects “continues to be the area of most demand”, ConsenSys’ report confirmed.

LinkedIn: “33x Increase” in Demand for DLT Software Architects

Notably, blockchain developers topped the global list for job roles with the highest overall growth. This, according to LinkedIn’s 2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report which revealed that the demand for DLT software architects “grew 33x over the previous year.”

As detailed in LinkedIn’s market research report, fintech firms and other organizations currently looking for blockchain developers “range from small remote teams to VC-funded startups to industry leaders and tech giants.”

Established multinational IT and professional services firms such as Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft are all expanding their respective DLT-focused development teams. Meanwhile, smaller startups including the developers of the Marconi protocol are looking to enhance blockchain network security, privacy, and connectivity.

Blockchain Devs Are Making up to $175,000 per Year

As noted in ConsenSys’ blog, “advertised blockchain developer salaries — using aggregated data from CNBC, Janco Associates, and Burning Glass — range from $125,000 — $175,000.”

Meanwhile, AngelList data shows that salaries for tech jobs in the DLT industry “outweigh equivalent roles in non-blockchain organizations, highlighting the high demand for practical blockchain knowledge already.” Moreover, non-technical roles in the blockchain sector “also outrank similar roles in non-blockchain companies,” market data shows.