What happened: The three largest manufacturers of cryptocurrency mining equipment—Bitmain, Canaan, and Ebang—are all from China and all of them are preparing for a Hong Kong IPO. Bitmain plans to file for IPO next month and raise at least $3 billion, Ebang is aiming to raise up to $1 billion, while Canaan is targeting at least $400 million.
Why it’s important: Investors are worried about the companies’ long-term viability. The value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been falling and, with it, the profitability of mining them. All of the companies are facing tightening regulatory frameworks in China: mining is not prohibited but neither is it condoned. Even without that, cryptocurrency mining has always been an industry that works short-term: there is only a limited amount of bitcoin that can be mined. All of the companies have announced a refocus on AI chips. Bitmain has been the most successful so far launching two ASIC chips dedicated to AI.