Bitmain listing lifts lid on crypto finances
The prospectus for the forthcoming Hong Kong IPO of Bitmain, which dominates the market for cryptocurrency mining hardware, unveils the highs and lows of businesses linked to bitcoin. It will cause crypto ideals to collide with institutional expectations about business transparency.
The forthcoming listing of Bitmain Technologies, the company that produces the processors through which most of the world’s bitcoins are mined, brings not only the world’s largest cryptocurrency IPO but one of the most fascinating prospectuses in recent memory.
The Hong Kong listing of the Chinese company lifts the lid on an often-overlooked section of the cryptocurrency world: the mining hardware. The prospectus makes frequent reference to research conducted for it by Frost & Sullivan, including the headline finding that Bitmain accounted for a 74.5% market share of cryptocurrency mining in 2017, in terms of sales revenue. Most of it is through an efficient little gizmo called an Antminer.
It also sheds light on the places where mining takes place. Bitmain has 11 mining farms in China – in Sichuan, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia – where miners pool their computing power and split mining rewards. Two of its mining pools, BTC.com and Antpool, together contribute 37.1% of the “aggregate hashrate” of the bitcoin network, meaning the total block rewards (people who mine new blocks of bitcoin are rewarded with more bitcoin).
But it’s the revenue numbers that really confound.