Business

Erik Gibbs

Bitmain IPO fizzles and expires

All the fluff and stuff was for nothing. Bitmain, once the leading cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturer in the world, won’t be moving forward with its questionable initial public offering (IPO), after all. As of March 25, the official deadline for introducing the IPO filing has expired.

Ever since Bitmain first started mumbling “IPO” last summer, there have been questions regarding how stable the company was and whether or not it could legitimately move forward with the offering. Even the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), which would have been the home of the IPO, questioned its legitimacy.

After Bitmain filed its prospectus, it quizzically became extremely silent on the matter. There has been virtually no movement on the IPO front since then and the company reportedly was never able to convince the exchange, or financial regulators in Hong Kong (or even the entire crypto community) of its solid financial position.

When a company requests to list an IPO on the HKEX, it has to move to the next stage, the hearing stage, within six months. March 25 marked the official end of that six-month period, and the IPO request was automatically cancelled. At this point, there is no information regarding whether or not Bitmain might try to file for a new IPO.

If it does move forward, which is highly unlikely, it will once again find itself under the microscope as the crypto community attempts to decipher its financial data. Bitmain was called out for exaggerating its income after filing the last IPO and the company is most likely not in a better position now.

According to the HKEX, “The latest financial period reported on by the reporting accountants for a new application must not have ended more than six months from the date of the listing document.” This means that Bitmain would be obligated to release its financial report for the third quarter of last year. Some analysts have estimated that the company lost over $740 million during that period, and Bitmain has refused to release the data publicly.

It’s possible that Bitmain might try to launch its IPO on the NASDAQ exchange, similar to what Canaan has considered. However, the same issues remain—Bitmain has not had the financial solvency it previously reported and would also have to list its most recent financial reports. That makes the possibility of a switch to NASDAQ highly improbable.

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