Business 16 November 2018Ed Drake
Crypto miner Canaan’s $400M IPO application in Hong Kong expires
The application from cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturer Canaan for an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong has lapsed, Reuters reported.
Six months ago, Canaan filed an application to debut in Hong Kong, seeking $400 million in funding from its offering. At the time, the crypto mining hardware manufacturer was buoyed by wider optimism around the cryptocurrency mining sector.
With the application lapsing as of November 15, it marks the final downgrade of Canaan’s IPO plans, which initially sought to raise as much as $2 billion from investors, before being revised to $400 million.
While the present application has now lapsed, Canaan would be free to re-apply for a listing at a later date. This would require updated financial information, and a new submission, both to regulators and the stock exchange, before it could be listed.
Sources close to the deal told the news outlet that Canaan’s business model and outlook were subject to significant scrutiny from the stock exchange and regulators, suggesting it was now impossible that the IPO could occur in 2018.
The news is highly embarrassing for Canaan, one of the world’s foremost crypto mining firms. Several rival firms are approaching IPOs of their own in Hong Kong, including Ebang and Bitmain, although the news about Canaan has cast further doubt on their viability.
At press time, Bitmain was still fielding questions from regulators including the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in a bid to progress their listing. A source close to equity markets in Hong Kong said that these IPOs would continue to experience difficulties at the hands of regulators, citing concerns over the nature of their business model. According to the source, “With the [BTC] price dropping so much this year, there’s a lot of uncertainties over their business. If we cannot forecast their financials, how can we sell their IPOs?”
The expired application comes a matter of weeks after the SFC said was preparing to impose new licensing conditions on companies managing cryptocurrency holdings, “in light of the significant risks virtual assets pose to investors.”
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