Chinese bitcoin hardware maker and miner Bitmain Technologies Inc. is looking to go public in either Hong Kong or the U.S., according to an unconfirmed report published Monday.
Forbes claimed that the company is looking to go public on a $14 billion valuation, up from a valuation of $12 billion as of its last round in September, and that it has the financials to make it an attractive investment.
Quoting an internal company email, the report claimed Bitmain brought in $1.1 billion in net profit just in the first quarter of 2018, compared with $1.2 billion for all of 2017. And a “conservative estimate” has the company making between $2 billion to $3 billion for the full year.
Founded in 2013, Bitmain manufactures its own bitcoin mining equipment and also operates the world’s largest bitcoin mining operation. Bitcoin mining involves computers processing transactions on the bitcoin blockchain with a reward of new bitcoins being released to those participating. Bitmain manufactures its own mining equipment, uses it for its direct benefit and sells it to third parties.
The notable investor as of its last round was Sequoia Capital. It was the first time the legendary venture capital firm invested into a bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer and miner.
It’s difficult to pin down exactly what Bitmain’s market share of bitcoin mining equipment is. But figures of about 70 to 80 percent are often mentioned. Its closest dedicated mining equipment competitor, Canaan Inc., filed to go public in May, but Bitmain also competes with companies such as graphics chipmaker Nvidia Corp. as well.
Bitmain is not without its critics. Crowdfund Insider noted that some industry insiders claim the company has too much control over the cryptocurrency mining sector and that it uses this influence to inhibit erstwhile competitors. But with profits now into the low billions, market domination will likely work to its benefit in an IPO.
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