Ebang's Hong Kong IPO Application Expires

Neil Dennis

Ebang, China leading maker of bitcoin mining gear, has allowed its application for an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong to lapse on Friday.

The Hangzhou-based company which makes the Ebit miner never disclosed exactly how much it hoped to raise and is now the last of the big-three cryptocurrency mining giants to have passed up on listing shares in Hong Kong.

Market leader Bitmain's IPO application lapsed on March 25, while Canaan allowed its application to expire in November 2018.

Ebang first tried to take its shares public on the Hong Kong exchange on June 24, 2018, but updated its application the following December. IPO applications to list on the Hong Kong Exchange are only valid for six months.

While investors on cryptocurrency exchanges have had to come to terms with high levels of price volatility in crypto-assets, the Hong Kong stock exchange HKEX has reportedly been reluctant to list shares in associated companies.

HKEX feels that excessive moves on cryptocurrency exchanges could cause similar behaviour for associated stocks on its exchange.

Citing a source involved in talks over Canaan's listing, Coinbase reported the exchange was nervous about listing such companies.

Coinbase's source said:

The exchange is very hesitant to actually approve these bitcoin mining companies because the industry is so volatile. There’s a real risk that they could just not exist anymore in a year or two. The HKEX doesn’t want to be the first exchange in the world to approve this and have one die on them.

New York Filing?

The question now turns, however, to: will New York jump in where Hong Kong fears to tread?

As Ebang's Hong Kong IPO lapsed on Friday, news was breaking across the Pacific that Bitmain - which was valued at $15 billion in a private funding round last year - was consulting with advisers about a US stock listing. 

When its Hong Kong application lapsed it was hoping to raise up to US$3 billion. Insiders known to Bloomberg believe Bitmain will file for an IPO on tne New York Stock Exchange in the second half of 2019.