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Bitcoin Mining Firms Make Chinese Unicorns List for First Time

Three bitcoin mining companies have joined a list of "unicorns" – private companies valued at over $1 billion – for the first time.

The Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute published its Q2 Unicorn Index for the Greater China region on Wednesday, which notably included the names of several major bitcoin mining firms: Bitmain, Canaan Creative and Ebang. The third Hurun list of 130 Chinese unicorns has never before featured a fully cryptocurrency-focused firm.

Ranking highest of the three, Bitmain appears at 13th on the list with a valuation of around 70 billion yuan, or about $10.4 billion, close to other notable companies such as JD Logistics.

The ranking follows recent news indicating that Bitmain has completed a Series B round funding that could value the firm around $10 billion ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO).

Meanwhile, Hurun values Canaan and Ebang at around $3 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively – figures that saw the firms placed at at 32nd and 53rd on the list, also respectively.

Recent reports have indicated that Canaan and Ebang too have both filed applications to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. However, since the IPO applications were in initial draft form, it is unclear how much the two were seeking to raise or what their valuations might be. According to a previous report from Reuters, in mid-2017, Canaan was estimated to be worth around $500 million.

While the three are the first fully devoted bitcoin firms to appear on the Greater China Unicorn Index, some of the companies already on the list have already made major moves in the blockchain industry.

For instance, Ant Financial – a payment affiliate of Alibaba that tops the list with a valuation of $149 billion – announced late last month that it has launched a blockchain-powered payment corridor between Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Further, OneConnect – a fintech development arm of Chinese insurance giant PingAn and valued at $7.4 billion – has helped the Hong Kong Monetary Authority engineer a blockchain trade finance platform that is set to go live by September.

Paper unicorns image via Shutterstock

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Is Demand For Bitcoin Mining in Decline? Chip Maker Slashes Target

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest dedicated independent chipmaker, has predicted a drop in demand from the cryptocurrency mining community in the fourth quarter this year. The growth target of 7 to 9 percent was slashed to 6.5 percent partly due to the demand dynamics of bitcoin miners. Crypto Mining Demand For TSMC Chips to Weaken Further In Q4 2018, Says CEO C. C. Wei, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of TSMC told investors at the company’s third quarter 2018 earnings conference that business growth would be offset by “continued weakness in cryptocurrency mining demand”. “Moving into fourth quarter, despite the current market uncertainties, our business will benefit from the continuous steep ramp of7-nanometer for several high-end smartphones as well as the demand for 16/12-nanometer for the launches of new-generation GPU andAI. However, this growth will be partially offset by continued weakness in cryptocurrency mining demand and inventory management byour customers.” The company forecasts growth between 5 and 7 percent for the overall semiconductor market excluding memory, while foundry is expected to grow between 6% and 7%. Weakening demand from cryptocurrency miners has forced the firm to adjust the growth estimate to 6.5 percent in U.S. dollar terms, according to the chief executive. “However, our business is also negatively impacted by further weakening of cryptocurrency mining demand. As a result, we estimate our 2018 growth rate will be about 6.5% in U.S. dollar term, which is close to the foundry industry’s growth but slightly below our 7% to 9% guidance given in the last conference.” The downshift in mining profits is the main responsible for the company’s revision of its full-year sales target, citing uncertainty in the cryptocurrency market as its reason. In April, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company lowered its 2018 revenue guidance to 10% growth from 10-15%, estimating that about 10% of the Asian chipmaker’s revenue depends on cryptocurrency mining demand. Moreover, the entrance of Samsung in the global cryptocurrency mining sector could be providing TSMC their first real competitor in the sector, which in turn, may eventually push the company to lower its sales targets in years to come. Samsung has started the production phase of bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining equipment and ASIC mining chips earlier this year. The company intended to manufacture GPU miners for miners targeting small cryptocurrencies in the upcoming months. President Trump’s trade tariffs, on the other hand, may hurt future trade volumes of Chinese companies producing cryptocurrency mining hardware. This may eventually benefit TSMC as competitors from the People’s Republic of China will have a hard time in the race for the U.S. market. The post Is Demand For Bitcoin Mining in Decline? Chip Maker Slashes Target appeared first on NewsBTC.

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