The Bitcoin rout has claimed many victims, from everyday investors to medium-sized miners. But now, even some of the industry’s biggest names are being forced to face the music.
Bitmain Cuts The Fat
Bitmain, which has cautiously been working to gather its strength in recent months for an IPO push, has recently announced that it will be closing the doors of its Israeli development center.
“The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation,” said Gadi Glikberg, Bitmain’s Vice President of International Sales and Branch Manager at the development center.
Launched in 2016, the Israeli facility focused on the development of blockchain solutions, the Connect BTC mining pool, and artificial intelligence for the Sophon project, a chip used in security, surveillance, super computers and data centers.
According to Israeli business publication Globes, the company’s 23 development center employees will be let go, though there is no word on the future of the projects the team was managing.
Bitmain’s shuttering of its development center, caused by current market conditions and mounting regulatory pressure, has cast a shadow over the future if its IPO ambitions.
Though Bitmain may still have a chance to tackle the challenges ahead, other miners may not be so fortunate.
Canaan Fails To Renew IPO Application
Last week, the deadline for Canaan’s IPO application came and went, surpassing its six-month lifespan, according to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
No official statement has been released regarding the choice to let the application lapse, but Hong Kong-based independent investment banking expert Philippe Espinasse offered a possible explanation, “This often happens because of issues related to due diligence and disclosure, or because of market conditions when the valuations expected by legacy shareholders are at odds with what investors are prepared to pay.”
Though Canaan’s application has lapsed, Hong Kong Stock Exchange rules allow a little leniency, leaving a three-month window for applicants to re-submit their paperwork as a ‘continuance’ of the original letter.
Despite this window, however, few expect Canaan to resubmit anytime soon.
The Clock Is Ticking For Ebang
Like Bitmain and Canaan, Ebang International Holdings, the world’s second largest mining equipment producer, had filed the paperwork for a now-uncertain IPO.
Ebang, for its part, is running out of time. With a deadline as soon as December 24th, it’s looking increasingly likely that the mining giant will follow in Canaan’s footsteps and allow the application to lapse.
Jasper Lee, managing director at eToro in Shanghai explained: “There is a very high chance that Ebang’s IPO application will lapse,” adding “Fundamentally, there is no big difference between Canaan and Ebang. If Canaan couldn’t respond to questions regulators have had, I don’t see how Ebang would be able to do so.”
Bear Market Woes Persist For Miners
Though financial disclosure is a rare occurrence in the world of bitcoin miners, the general assumption is that the three companies are being forced to adjust their valuations as a result of the downturn in crypto markets.
Additionally, there are larger regulatory factors at play, which some market analysts suggest could also be impacting the miners’ decisions.
Zennon Kapron, founder of Shanghai-based Kapronasia noted, “If it is a conscious decision by the government to let it lapse, then it is certainly not very positive for Bitmain or Ebang to succeed in their listing,” adding “Those are bitcoin mining companies which are somewhat controversial. Getting an approval is never going to be easy. So the fact that there is a delay is not entirely surprising.”