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Chinese Bitcoin Mining Rig Makers Aim to Raise Billions in HK IPOs

Chinese Bitcoin Mining Rig Makers Aim to Raise Billions in HK IPOsChinese Bitcoin Mining Rig Makers Aim to Raise Billions in HK IPOs

Three of the world’s largest bitcoin mining equipment makers plan to raise billions of dollars with initial public offerings in Hong Kong, even as other companies report plunging demand for the chips needed to make bitcoin and a halving in the price of the cryptocurrency.

Soaring cryptocurrency prices last year triggered a boom in demand for specialist mining chips and in developing “mines”—facilities with thousands of machines that create the coins by solving complex mathematical puzzles, Reuters reported.

Yet the US chipmaker Nvidia Corp said this month that second-quarter sales to crypto miners totaled just $18 million, compared with $100 million expected by analysts.

Nvidia’s chief financial officer, Colette Kress, said she anticipated “no contribution” to revenues from cryptocurrency in coming months.

That has raised concerns about the upcoming Hong Kong listings by three Chinese manufacturers of bitcoin mining equipment, Bitmain, Canaan Inc and Ebang International Holdings.

The companies all design high-end computer chips intended for mining cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin, and sell mining equipment containing the chips. In addition, Bitmain mines cryptocurrencies on its own account. Companies like Nvidia also sell specialty chips used for mining.

“The marked decline in the price of bitcoin since the start of the year is likely to weigh on investors’ interest in these companies,” said Benjamin Quinlan, chief executive of financial services consultancy Quinlan & Associates.

But, he added, “the fall in the price of bitcoin from its peaks has not been matched by an equivalent fall in the numbers of people mining it.”

Bitcoin is currently trading at $6,699, down 64% from its December 2017 peak of $18,690. Daily mining revenue was 77% lower than in December, according to Blockchain.info, a data analytics and wallet provider.

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