Bitmain

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Bitmain Technologies, Ltd.
Bitmain logo.png
Founded 2013
Headquarters Beijing, China
Key People Jihan Wu, CEO
Products Mining hardware and mining pools
Twitter @BITMAINtech
Facebook @Bitmain
Website Bitmain Homepage
Releases Company News
Blog Bitmain Blog

Bitmain Technologies, Ltd., founded in 2013, is a privately held company based in Beijing, China, with offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Qingdao, Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen.[1] In January 2018 Reuters reported that Bitmain was opening an office in the Swiss "Crypto Valley" town of Zug.[2]

Overview

Bitmain develops and sells specialized bitcoin mining machines using its application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip technology. The company produces a line of proprietary mining technology called Antminer. Additionally, Bitmain mines on its own behalf and operates at least two mining pools, BTC.com and AntPool. According to published reports, these two pools alone can account for almost 42% of all bitcoin mined worldwide in a week. Each pool can also mine about 10% of the total Bitcoin Cash mined in a week. In light of the fact that both of those cryptocurrencies use the same algorithm, Bitmain might have a dominant position in bitcoin if it turned all of its efforts to mining bitcoin alone, without Bitcoin Cash.[3]

IPO

Bitmain announced in August 2018 that it had begun the process of filing an initial public offering (IPO) valued at up to $18 billion, which would make it one of the largest IPOs ever.[4][5] Caixin, a Chinese news agency, reported on July 6, 2018 that Bitmain had raised additional funds of between $300 million and $400 million in a funding round that valued Bitmain at about $12 billion.[6] Participants in this pre-IPO funding round were not announced by Bitmain, and a number of the rumored participants, including SoftBank Group and Tencent, publicly denied having made investments.[7]

On September 26, 2018 Bitmain published a draft of the locally required "application proof" (prospectus) for issuing shares on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, which presented a comprehensive look into the company across its 438 pages. Among the figures Bitmain reported, the company stated that it had had revenues of more than $2.8 billion in the first half of 2018. 94.3 percent of those revenues derived from its sales of mining hardware and 3.3 percent from its proprietary mining activities. Its profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $1.1 during the six-month period. The number of shares in the company was redacted from the application proof.[8]

In mid-December 2018, media reported that the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong had signaled that it was reluctant to approve Bitmain's listing due to Hong Kong regulators' concerns about the immaturity of the cryptocurrency industry.[9]

Bitcoin Cash ABC Lawsuit

In December, American telecommunications firm United American Corporation (UAC) sued Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, as well as Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, Roger Ver, and key Bitcoin ABC developers.[10][11] The United American Corporation lawsuit alleged that Ver and the others manipulated the crypto market by making Bitcoin Cash too "centralized," allowing them to unjustly enrich themselves by that conduct.[12] In addition to accepting Bitcoin Cash as payment for hardware, Bitmain produces hardware that is used for mining Bitcoin Cash, mines Bitcoin Cash for its own account, and operates and shares in pools that mine Bitcoin Cash. Bitmain carries significant amounts of Bitcoin Cash on its balance sheet as cash.[13]

Crypto Winter

On December 10, 2018, Bitmain confirmed to Coindesk that it was closing its 23 person operation in Israel, which was working on blockchain and artificial intelligence technology for the company, ostensibly to save money.[14] In late December of that year, Coindesk reported that a Bitmain employee had confirmed to it that the company had begun employee layoffs.[15]

In January 2019, the company announced it would be closing its Amsterdam office as well.[16]

Bitmain updated its IPO filing with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong on February 19, 2019, indicating a third quarter 2018 loss of about $500 million with revenues of about $200 million. Approximately $100 million of the losses were attributed to the decline in the value of its extensive cryptocurrency holdings.[17]

References