When cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain announced last September that it will be filing an initial public offering (IPO) to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), the future of crypto mining looked bright. Since then, a severe market downturn prompted in part by the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork war has resulted in significant losses for blockchain companies the world over.
Tomorrow, March 26th, the Bitmain IPO application expires and the company has not yet made it to a listing hearing. This means it’s highly likely that the first ever attempt by a major blockchain company to go public will be a failure. So what does this mean for the future of cryptocurrency mining?
While Bitmain has up until now been one of the largest and most successful cryptocurrency mining chip manufacturers, it is certainly not the “be-all-and-end-all” of crypto mining. In fact, the failure to launch its IPO does not come as a complete surprise. Since announcing the application, Bitmain has been mired in controversy surrounding it’s investors and earnings, with some large investors distancing themselves from the project. Furthermore, details arose regarding large amounts of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) holdings that the company dumped following dire price predictions. This, coupled with a reported $500 million in losses during Q3 of 2018, put the company’s IPO hopes in understandable jeopardy.
With Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu recently stepping down as CEO and the firm’s future in question, are there any other companies poised to take the crypto mining crown?
BitFury represents the strongest competition to Bitmain and is the largest industrial crypto mining firm outside of China. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company operates datacentres in Iceland and Georgia, where crypto mining has seen huge growth in popularity. Most recently, Bitfury has been in the news for its implementation of Lightning Network payments via the HadePay payment platform.
In November last year, the firm raised $80 million in a funding round led by venture capital group Korelya Capital, bringing its total funding raised to $150 million and giving the firm a $1 billion valuation. With expansions into blockchain software development and a listing on Forbes Fintech Top 50 list, BitFury certainly seems poised to give Bitmain a run for its money.
Japanese financial services provider SBI Holdings has announced plans to begin producing crypto mining chips through its subsidiary SBI Mining Chip Co. Ltd. The company has been quite vocal in its interest in the blockchain sector, with growing investment in cross-border payment platform Ripple (XRP). The firm represents the first ever established financial institution interested in mining cryptocurrency, which could bring an added level of professionalism to the sector.
With Bitcoin mining recently reaching a new 2019 high of 52 EH/s, there certainly appears to be increasing demand for advancement in the field. As developments continue to unfold it will be interesting to see which firm eventually manages to secure a successful IPO.