Canaan Inc., the world’s second-biggest maker of Bitcoin mining hardware, could soon become the first cryptocurrency company to hit the public markets in Hong Kong. The company applied Tuesday to trade on the Hong Kong stock exchange backed by Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and CMB International Capital Ltd.
Bloomberg News reported earlier Tuesday that Canaan had filed for an initial public offering (IPO) that could raise about $1 billion. The filing didn’t say how much Canaan will seek. The proposal to launch in Asia as opposed to the US means it will be the first ever to be placed on the market in Hong Kong.
Canaan aims to start trading as soon as July, a person with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The company, based in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, had revenue of 1.3 billion yuan ($205 million) last year. Net income surged more than sixfold to 361 million yuan, according to Tuesday’s filing.
Canaan has about 15 percent of the global market for Bitcoin mining chips and computer equipment, trailing Chinese rival Bitmain, according to a February report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
Founded in 2013, Canaan, sells computer equipment under the “Avalon” brand with fast, customized chips that win digital coins by solving complex math problems. The company’s hardware often ends up in remote locales housing large mining pools that depend on cheap electricity
According to reports from last year, Canaan was also under works to develop dedicated chips for use in artificial intelligence applications. Regarding the IPO, currently, no final decisions have been made, and details of the offering could change, the people said.
In Tuesday’s filing, Canaan said its software enterprise unit, Hangzhou Canaan, receives preferential tax treatment and paid no income tax in 2016 and 2017, and will pay a preferential rate of 12.5 percent from 2018 to 2020.
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