Bitmain is Considering an Overseas IPO
Jihan Wu, co-founder of Bitmain, the world’s dominant manufacturer of cryptocurrency miners, said the company is pursuing an expansion which may lead to an initial public offering (IPO), maybe in Hong Kong, or in an overseas market with U.S. dollar-denominated shares, according to Bloomberg.
Bitmain’s famous Antminers sold for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars are usually snapped up in seconds after release by professional miners. In 2017, the company booked $2.5 billion of revenue last year and leaped to the second chip design company after Huawei’s Hisilion, rising quickly after its birth five years ago.
As per data, the Chinese company controls as much as 80% of the market of crypto mining gear, whose operating profit is similar to that of Nvidia’s.
The rapid rise of the company apparently sparked onlookers’ curiosity in the mysterious company and the self-made billionaire. Data shows that as of June 2015, Wu had a stake of 22.9% of the business and Micree Zhan 61%.
While in the latest interview with Bloomberg, Wu said he and co-founder Micree Zhan together own about 60 percent of the business, while more details of his net worth were declined, but said Bitmain is worth $12 billion.
Apart from mining hardware sales, the company also runs some of the biggest mining pools – BTC.com and Antpool which control over 40 percent of the world’s bitcoin hashrate, according to btc.com. For the concentration of mining power, Wu is called “Mining Monopoly (矿霸 in Chinese)”. Cobra of Bitcoin.org also recently tweeted that Jihan Wu could easily conduct a 51% attack on bitcoin.
Jihan Wu is photoshopped into the image of Thanos by some netizen
In the interview with Bloomberg, Wu brushes off the naysayers, pointing out that lots of rivals are angling to grab market share. “Bitmain is trying very hard to maintain its advantage,” he said.
Given the fluctuation of cryptocurrency price and limited information on Bitmain, outsiders can only draw conclusions from speculations about this Beijing-based company and its founders.
Hopefully, this situation would be changed if the company is about to seek IPO, though Wu said he has no specific plans at the moment. While in early May, the company’s big rival, Hangzhou-based Canaan, has already filed for a Hong Kong IPO which expected to raise about $1 billion.
It is a milestone event to launch IPO for Bitmain and the entire crypto sector, as the industry is walking forward in the stage instead of staying in secrecy, and the veils covering all parties related such as crypto miners, developers and investors would be gradually lifted, which would address the concerns from regulators and investors.