Business 13 March 2019

Ed Drake

Crypto miner Canaan secures ‘hundreds of millions’ in fresh investment round

Chinese crypto mining giant Canaan Creative has secured investment running to hundreds of millions, according to local press reports, in the latest positive sign for the recuperating crypto mining sector.

The Chinese-language Securities Times report suggests the Chinese firm has raised “hundreds of millions” as part of a fresh funding round valuing the company in the billions. The report has yet to be confirmed by Canaan representatives.

According to the report, “From the point of view of market capitalization, after the current round of financing, Canaan’s valuation is worth billions of dollars.”

Founded in 2013, the firm is credited with inventing the first crypto mining ASICs, and is currently the world’s second largest manufacturer of mining hardware. The firm filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK) back in May 2018, although the IPO has yet to gain final approval for listing.

However, challenging conditions for mining firms amid the collapse in Bitcoin Core (BTC) markets over the last 19 months has seen Canaan suffer, along with the rest of the crypto mining sector.

With crypto prices robustly down amid the bear market slump, coupled with rising global energy prices, margins for mining firms have been squeezed. Some have even been forced out of business.

The investment in Canaan is a vote of confidence in the sector from the as-yet undisclosed investors, and comes at a time when some reports suggest Chinese miners in particular may soon be able to return to profitability.

The wet season in northern China is expected to deliver cheaper energy prices, thanks to extensive hydroelectric capacity. As a result, local mining operations are anticipating significant savings in mining costs over the coming months.

At the same time, plummeting BTC prices appear to have halted for the time being, allowing those mining firms still standing the chance to recover and restructure.

The news comes just a matter of months after Canaan’s larger rival Bitmain began downscaling operations in a bid to cut costs. Both Bitmain and Canaan have been attempting to list on the SEHK, but have as yet been unsuccessful in securing their listing. The latest reports indicate Canaan may now be poised to attempt to list on the New York Stock Exchange later this year.

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.

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