Despite the wide swings in bitcoin's valuation, bitcoin mining businesses have achieved a new milestone. Three Chinese bitcoin mining firms have gained the status of “unicorns” – the term used for private companies that are valued in excess of $1 billion. (For more, see Is Bitcoin Mining Still Profitable?)
Three Pure-Play Bitcoin Miners Join Unicorn Club
Based on the Q2 Unicorn Index report published by the Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute for the Greater China region, CoinDesk reports the inclusion of Bitmain, Canaan Creative and Ebang. This is the first time the Hurun list included fully cryptocurrency-focused companies.
Bitmain, which claims to be the first consumer-grade 16nm ASIC miner offering the best power efficiency and best ROI of any bitcoin miner, takes the 13th rank on the list of 130 companies. It is valued at around 70 billion yuan, or about $10.4 billion. The valuation is supported by company’s recent Series B round funding that values it at around $10 billion, and there is news of a potential initial public offering (IPO).
Canaan Creative, the global leader in manufacturing blockchain servers and designing ASIC microprocessor solutions, is valued at $3 billion and is ranked at number 32 on the Hurun list. A Reuters report valued Canaan at around $500 million in mid-2017.
Ebang is the next bitcoin mining unicorn at number 53 on the Hurun list. It is valued at $1.5 billion.
Both Canaan and Ebang have filed the necessary draft applications to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. However, there is no clarity over how much each firm is willing to raise by going public.
While the above three firms are purely into bitcoin mining, there are other large-sized companies that have ventured into bitcoin space and have been holding top ranks on the unicorn list. Alibaba Inc.’s (BABA) payment affiliate Ant Financial holds top rank with a valuation of around $149 billion. Last month it launched a blockchain-powered gateway for handling payments between Hong Kong and the Philippines. Another fintech firm called OneConnect, which is the subsidiary of insurance company PingAn, is valued at $7.4 billion. It is working with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to launch a blockchain-based trade finance platform that is expected to go live by September of this year. (See also, Will Alibaba Turn to Bitcoin Ahead of Amazon and Google?)
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