Bitmain files for IPO in Hong Kong

Bitmain’s office in Haidian District, Beijing (Image credit: Bitmain)

Bitmain has officially filed for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The announcement follows reports last month that the Beijing Bitcoin mining giant planned to have an IPO bigger than Facebook’s, raising $18 million. If successful, Bitmain’s valuation could rise to the $40 – $50 billion range. The company completed a $1 billion pre-IPO investment registration on August 4 and published its prospectus yesterday.

According to the document, Bitmain saw a net profit of $742.7 million in the first half of this year, almost eight times the figure from the same period in 2017. Its total income in the first six months of 2018 was over $2.8 billion. Mining equipment sales made up 94.3% of Bitmain’s income in the first half of this year. Another 3.3% came from the company’s own mining businesses, while mining pool operating income was 1.5% of the total.

As of June 30, 2018, Bitmain operates 11 mines in China – including Sichuan, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia. Together, they can accommodate 200,000 mining machines, divided up into two main pools: BTC.com and AntPool. According to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, in 2017 the company was the biggest cryptocurrency mining enterprise in the world that relies on ASIC.

Among other things, the prospectus shows steady positive growth for the company: from 2015 to 2017, Bitmain’s annual compound growth rate was 328.2%.

However, its plans for an IPO have been dogged by doubts over increasing competition in the cryptocurrency field as well as tightening regulations in the mainland. The mining manufacturer’s top two competitors, both also Chinese, filed for initial public offerings earlier this year. Canaan Creative, the world’s second-biggest mining hardware maker, submitted its plan for a Hong Kong IPO in May, followed by third-place Ebang in June.

A timeline for Bitmain’s planned IPO and the number of shares it will offer were not included in the public prospectus. The eventual valuation of the company is currently also unclear.