Bitmain Becomes Biggest Blockchain Company Ever Following Series B Funding
China’s dominant bitcoin mining manufacturer has become the largest crypto conglomerate in the world after securing a new round of Series B funding, according to Caixin news agency.
Bitmain Expands Influence
Caixin reported last week that Bitmain has secured between $300 million and $400 million in new funding from Sequoia China, U.S. hedge fund Coatue and Singapore-based EDBI, effectively becoming the largest cryptocurrency company in the world. With the latest round, Bitmain’s total value has swelled to $12 billion.
Bitmain is making waves across the blockchain industry, having recently announced plans to purchase roughly 43% of Opera Ltd., a Norway-based internet browser that has filed for an initial public offering with Nasdaq.
Back in May, the company led a $110 million financing round for Circle, an influential cryptocurrency company with backing from Goldman Sachs and others. In an official announcement, Circle said Bitmain’s stake in the company will allow it to expand critical infrastructure needed to power the crypto economy:
“Bitmain Co-founder and CEO Jihan Wu is well known for espousing a vision similar to ours regarding the creation and adoption of a new global economy powered by cryptographic assets, distributed contracts, and open source blockchain technology. We are excited to be working directly with Bitmain on realizing our shared vision.”
Earlier this year, Circle purchased digital currency exchange Poloniex for $400 million.
Race for Blockchain Dominance
Bitmain is considered one of China’s ‘big three’ crypto mining manufacturers, and its sphere of influence is growing by the day. The company controls the lion’s share of bitcoin’s hashrate through mining pools BTC.com and Antpool. As CCN reported last month, the company is coming dangerously close to controlling 51% of the bitcoin hashrate, a mark that would theoretically allow it to carry out a 51% attack against the network. It has also been estimated that Bitmain accounts for up to 80% of the market for bitcoin mining hardware.
Ebang and Canaan Creative – Bitmain’s main competitors – have announced aggressive IPO plans this year. Each company is looking to raise at least $1 billion for various growth initiatives. In both cases, diversification appears to be a main objective as blockchain companies look to expand their influence in the market.
Bitmain has also stated it is “open” to conducting an IPO in Hong Kong but has yet to announce definitive plans to that effect.
In terms of profitability, Bitmain dwarfs its competitors. The company reported $4 billion in earnings last year, leapfrogging tech powerhouse Nvidia, which took 24 years to secure $3 billion in profit.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
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