Bitcoin mining firm Bitmain is currently valued at $15 billion dollars after completing a pre-IPO funding round led by Chinese technology development group Tencent and Japan’s Softbank. Tencent is best known for its social media platform WeChat and SoftBank also holds a 15 percent stake in the ride-sharing service Uber.
This is Bitmain’s second funding round this year. The Series B funding round in July reportedly raised $300-400 million at a valuation of $12 billion.
IPO Up Next
CEO Jihan Wu had previously hinted at plans to conduct an IPO in June. Now that Bitmain has closed this funding round, its next move will be an IPO launched on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with a target valuation of $30 billion.
Bitmain has earned between $3 and $4 billion in profit in 2017 and cornered 70-80 percent of the global market for sales of mining hardware as of February 2018. This beats out established GPU manufacturers such as Nvidia.
Earlier this year, Bitmain’s Chinese competitor, Canaan Creative had also filed to issue an IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Early reports indicated that it intends to raise as much as $1 billion. Although Canaan Creative posted a profit of $56 million in 2017, Hong Kong’s stock exchange had previously rejected an application for an IPO, citing “uncertainties”. Could stock exchange officials find similar reasons to block Bitmain’s IPO despite its massively more impressive profits?
Will the Drop in Bitcoin Price Hurt Profits?
The Bitcoin price recently dropped under $7,000 following news that the SEC pushed back a ruling on the Cboe ETF Proposal. This may lead to some investor concern that there won’t be much demand for new mining rigs in a bear market.
This does not seem to have slowed down mining activity very much, however. According to this Bitcoin hashrate historical chart, the reduced price does not seem to have fazed owners of mining rigs very much. The fact that some countries like Vietnam have considered putting limits on the import of mining rigs may put more of a pall on the growth of mining activity and the profits of mining rig manufacturers like Bitmain.
Bitmain Not Sitting Still
Bitmain’s current plans include the establishment of a $500 million blockchain data center in Rockdale, Texas. The data center will reside in a portion of the former Alcoa Rockdale Operations site and is expected to be up and running in early 2019.
Bitmain currently has several positions open in the Rockdale area to support the data center. It also plans to partner with local schools and educational centers that provide professional training to train students who can fill positions in the data center. Rockdale is reportedly welcoming of the 400 new jobs that the new data center will bring to the area.
With this new sign of being willing to pursue diversification, Bitmain will likely remain attractive to investors interested in putting their money on cryptocurrency mining. Its planned IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange is likely to be a success on top of the money it has already raised in its pre-IPO funding round.