No News Is Bad News For US Crypto IPO Hopeful Bitmain

No News Is Bad News For US Crypto IPO Hopeful Bitmain

about 4 years ago2 mins

China’s Bitmain, the world’s largest bitcoin miner, reportedly filed in October for an American initial public offering (IPO). Six weeks on, however, the only updates have been far from encouraging… 😬

What does this mean?

Bitmain’s previous attempts to “go public” ended in ignominy after profit claims were found to be inflated and stock exchanges got cold feet. The firm was forced to lay off 80% of its workforce – but the 2019 cryptocurrency market rebound has allowed Bitmain to expand in the US and concentrate on mining bitcoin itself, rather than selling equipment to others.

Still, its share of both markets is declining – leaving Bitmain scrabbling to refocus its strategy in a bid to remain attractive to would-be investors. There was some "good" news over the weekend, however: the CEO of upstart rival MicroBT(himself a former Bitmain employee) has been arrested on embezzlement charges.

Estimated current share of bitcoin mining. Bitmain owns BTC, AntPool and ViaBTC
Estimated current share of bitcoin mining. Bitmain owns BTC, AntPool and ViaBTC

But as investors wait for progress on Bitmain’s latest US IPO filing, it’s emerged just how close the company has come to the edge of late. It’s faced at least four contractual disputes with suppliers this year alone – with a Chinese court currently freezing almost $700,000 of Bitmain’s cash until the latest case is resolved 😯

Why should I care?

Bitmain’s stock market listing could be a watershed moment for crypto companies – as long as it avoids the fate of rival Canaan Creative. Canaan raised a significantly lower-than-expected $90 million in its own November US IPO, and its stock fell another 8% on Monday.

Canaan's short-lived stock has fallen more than 50% overall
Canaan's short-lived stock has fallen more than 50% overall

Canaan’s IPO flopped in part because investment bank Credit Suisse pulled out of selling shares a week beforehand. Bitmain will hope that Deutsche Bank – reported to be “sponsoring” its own IPO – proves more reliable. Corporate governance concerns hardly instill confidence, however: on top of everything else, recent infighting has left Bitmain under the thumb of its CEO/chairman… 🙄

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