Business 18 October 2018

Erik Gibbs

Bitmain predicted to be knocked from relevance; US tariffs of 27.5% now apply

Bitmain’s planned initial public offering (IPO) was already facing significant resistance due to the myriad of issues and controversies plaguing the company. However, the future now looks even less bright, thanks to President Donald Trump.

The ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China will undoubtedly impact cryptocurrency mining equipment. This past June, the U.S. changed the classification of the mining rigs from “data processing machines” to “electrical machinery.” Electrical machinery is subject to an import tariff of 2.6%—not unreasonable for any product. However, because of the trade war, the tariff schedule has been updated significantly. Instead of 2.6%, mining equipment manufacturers are now looking at the possibility of paying 27.6%.

Competition in the mining equipment manufacturing space is getting more serious. More than half of Bitmain’s business relies on overseas sales. With the increased tariffs, the company will have a difficult, if not impossible, time offering products at prices that can beat those of its competitors.

Some of Bitmain’s primary competitors, such as Squire, use chips manufactured in South Korea. These are not subject to the tariff schedule, nor are those produced in Taiwan. This will not only give companies that source products from these countries an edge, but it will also give rise to new competitors who will threaten Bitmain’s ability to act in the mining space.

The company even recognized in its IPO filing that there existed the possibility it could be impacted by external forces. It said that its revenue could see declines based on tax rates “due to economic and political conditions.” As Bitmain is already losing ground to competitors who are now producing mining rigs that are faster and more efficient, the tariffs could be the proverbial nail in the coffin that brings an end to the highly questionable IPO.

CoinGeek was already prepared for this eventuality, which is why the introduction of Antiguan-based bComm Association‘s Bitcoin SV (developed by nChain) is vital to the mining community. The full-node implementation software is now available and is quickly gaining favor. Don’t just take my word for it—come check it out during Miner’s Day at the upcoming CoinGeek Week Conference in London next month.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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