The crypto mining business has become a multi-billion dollar industry, and one company has had the lion’s share. Bitmain Technologies has dominated the mining hardware manufacturing industry, and according to a new report, the firm is now valued at over $14 billion. The report further revealed that the Beijing-based firm had made $1 billion in net profits during the first quarter of the year and that it intends to file for an IPO very soon.
The Hottest Crypto Firm? Probably
Founded in 2013 by two young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs, Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan, Bitmain has become the undisputed ASIC manufacturing king. The firm also operates Antpool, which is one of the largest Bitcoin mining pools. Business has been booming for Bitmain, as according to a report by Fortune, the firm made a net profit of $1.1 billion in Q1 of this year. Citing an email obtained from a source close to the company, the report states that Bitmain is expected to hit $3 billion in net profits for the year.
An audit by ‘big four’ firm KPMG puts the net profits for the firm in 2017 at $1.2 billion. This gives the company a decent chance of tripling its already impressive tally from last year, contradicting recent reports indicating there’s been a huge decline in demand for crypto mining equipment.
The report also noted that the company is raising more cash, barely two months after it raised $400 million. The funding round which was led by Sequoia Capital China in June had placed the company at a $12 billion valuation. The new funding round will value the company at $14 billion, the report claims. This represents an increase of more than 16 percentage points in just two months.
Bitmain also plans to file for an IPO very soon, the report claims. This is not entirely surprising, as the company has been reported to be weighing the option for quite some time now. Wu, the 32-year-old co-CEO, plans on listing the company in an overseas market with US dollar-denominated shares to make it easier for global investors to invest in the company. Hong Kong is at the top of his list. If successful, it would give early investors the chance to cash out their investments, most of which have multiplied more than ten times.
Bitmain controls over 80 percent of the ASIC manufacturing industry, a clear monopoly in an industry that is based on decentralization. This has made it the target of criticism by many crypto enthusiasts who believe that it goes against the ethos of the decentralized nature of cryptos. Bitmain’s critics cite its dominance as detrimental to the industry in the long run. The criticism has done little to deter the ambitions of Wu, who intends to continue dominating the industry and to spread his wings to other industries as well.
The rapidly growing artificial intelligence industry is the first target for Wu. He plans on branching out into designing and manufacturing chips for the AI industry in the near future. Bitmain also invests in other crypto-focused ventures, with the latest being an investment in Circle. The diversification is crucial for the company as the crypto mining industry is still young and could take a wild turn. Moreover, being a Chinese company, Bitmain has to be prepared for the Chinese government to make a radical ruling outlawing mining in the country, Wu stated in an interview with Bloomberg in May.
Its closest competitor is Canaan Creative, with a mere 15 percent of the market. The Beijing-based company is also reported to be weighing an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with its sights set on raising $1 billion.