TL;DR: Chinese media site Sycaijing.com reported today the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining company Bitmain has filed a confidential initial public offering (IPO) application with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. The news comes after a competitor grabbed headlines recently with its own IPO bid in the US, and yesterday’s revelation Bitmain’s co-founder has re-asserted his executive leadership in a dramatic shakeup.
Bitmain Files for IPO in the United States
Sycaijing.com, a tabloid media site owned by the world’s largest gaming conglomerate, based in Shenzhen, China, and known colloquially as Tencent, revealed how last week Bitmain confidentially filed for an IPO in the US, supposedly underwritten by Deutsche Bank. The site’s claims were buttressed by the detail of not only the IPO’s underwriter but also Bitmain’s employing the expertise of former Nasdaq representative Yeeli Hua Zheng as the potential listing’s primary consultant.
If true, the significance cannot be understated. Bitmain infamously attempted a historic IPO closer to home back in late 2018, but was forced months later to abandon listing plans on the Hong Kong exchange due to a brutal crypto bear market. That realization facilitated a reshaping of the globe’s biggest mining company and its many business divisions, and in particular the executive team, including co-founder Jihan Wu taking what was largely considered a lesser role in operations going forward.
In a move that shocked the outside world, Bitmain’s internal politics took a bold turn yesterday, suddenly, as a memorandum sent to all employees and signed by Wu alerted them of his reascending to a dominant role, effectively pushing out Micree Zhan, a long-time collaborator, in the process. The move was embraced, at least temporarily, by speculative crypto markets, and in particular Bitcoin Cash (BCH) enthusiasts who viewed Wu’s return as badly-needed, sending BCH’s price into the green by double digits.
It is still unclear why the sudden change in leadership at Bitmain happened exactly, and rumors are flying about everything from discoveries of corruption to mismanagement. Surely what didn’t help matters were widespread headlines of major mining rival Canaan recently filing its own $400 million IPO application with the SEC, perhaps becoming the first ecosystem business to earn a public listing in the US (something many observers previously believed would be Bitmain’s achievement). Monetary details about the SEC Bitmain IPO application were not disclosed. CoinSpice was unable to independently verify Sycaijing.com’s reporting, and the reasoning behind a supposed need for a confidential IPO filing was not explained.
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DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.