Cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturer Bitmain is the biggest name in the markets when it comes to the manufacturing of Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) devices. The company is a giant in the cryptocurrency markets - and it dominates the market with close to 80% market share in the crypto-mining industry. In a blog post yesterday, the company reflected upon how the fared in the year 2018 and what their plans for 2019 are.
The company has been making major losses following the slowdown of the cryptocurrency mining markets. This slowdown in mining rises due to the fact that mining is no longer lucrative for the miners because of the price crash - sometimes, the cost of mining ends up being more expensive than the block rewards that the miners get. Bitmain was also in the news for their Initial Public Offering (IPO) plans, which they planned to get listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. However, it appears that the company might not be successful in getting this IPO listed.
In their blog post, the company discussed the positive aspects of the year - and listed out their achievements of 2018. Btmain expressed their vision for 2018 by saying:
This past year we have really focused our efforts to accelerate the creation of a platform and environment designed to scale with exponential growth. We want our innovation to enable anyone, anywhere to mine and benefit from new global digital currencies. As we have always maintained, we have made it our mission to ensure the stability and security of digital currency, to foster greater adoption, usage and efficiency.
The company listed out the following as their achievements for the year:
The 7nm ASIC and ASICboost: Bitmain highlighted the fact that in 2018, they were able to come out with 7nm cryptocurrency mining chips which enabled them to break through the barriers of SHA-256 encryption. The company came out with Antminer T15 and Antminer S15s cryptocurrency miners.
Sophon (AI): Bitmain also commented on their efforts in the Artificial Intelligence sector - something that the company had been working on since 2015. Apart from cryptocurrency mining, Artificial Intelligence is another domain that Bitmain has been investing on and their Sophon brand of AI chips have been pretty popular.
Circle Investment: Bitmain also commented upon their investments, particularly in Circle, a global crypto finance firm. The company was the lead investor in Circle’s Series E funding where they contributed $110 Million. Circle was in the news in 2018 for their acquisition of the Poloniex cryptocurrency exchange, as well as for their USDC stablecoin.
Bitcoin Cash Fork: The Bitcoin Cash hard fork, where the currency split into BCH and BSV cryptocurrencies was one of the most talked-about and controversial crypto-events in 2018. This was of particular interest to Bitmain, which is one of the biggest holders of Bitcoin Cash. Bitmain, which sided with the BCH faction, said that it respects the stance taken by those who back BSV.
Bitmain Crypto Index: In November 2018, Bitmain launched the Bitmain Crypto Index, which the company claims will help the investors by providing a “performance reference point for the largest and most liquid cryptocurrencies.” This was another high point of the year for Bitmain.
US Expansion: Bitmain also commented upon the opening up of their US facilities and how their expansion in the US has been going along. The company had started off by setting up a blockchain datacenter in Texas, which was followed by setting up another facility in Washington. The company also mentioned that AntPool had sponsored NBA team Houston Rockets.
The Road Ahead
While Bitmain reflected upon how 2018 was for them - the company also commented upon their plans for the future. Bitmain, in their blog post, stated that in 2018, they were preparing for the future. The company acknowledged the fact that markets had gone through a number of ups and downs - but continues to be optimistic saying that the blockchain technology has gone through a number of ups and downs over the years, but continues to overcome these challenges and has never stopped developing.
Bitmain added that in 2019, they expect big-name investment institutions entering the cryptocurrency markets. The company further added that this is the year that regulators need to recognize the importance of cryptofinance and that 2019 would be the year that this happens. The blog post reads:
This year we also anticipate greater adoption of cryptofinance, starting with regulators recognizing the important role cryptocurrencies can play in our financial system and moving away from the sentiment that it is a threat to stability.
What Bitmain Missed
While Bitmain, on their blog post, talked about how 2018 had been a year of many firsts - and how the company performed over the year, they made no mentions of the low-points of the year. However, given that this was a company blog post, this wasn’t even expected. However, here’s a quick look into what Bitmain missed:
Bitmain did not talk about how the year had been one of the worst ones for Bitcoin mining and how miners were stopping their operations even when mining difficulty was going down. The situation was so dire that some cryptocurrency miners actually had to sell off their equipment by-the-kilogram as scrap metal.
In late 2018 and early 2019, news reports started to make rounds that Bitmain was going to fire up to 50% of their total workforce. Moreover, the company also ended up shutting down their Netherlands and Israel offices. Bitmain also halted operations at their Texas mining facility.
Bitmain had applied for an IPO to get listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange - however, the fact that Bitmain did not mention that on their blog is an indicator that the company has given up all hopes to get listed. Earlier, reports were making rounds in the markets stating that the regulators are not as favourable about a Bitmain IPO.
It would be interesting to see what the future holds for Bitmain as interest in cryptocurrency mining continues to decline. Stay tuned with us at Cryptoground for more news updates and stories from the world of the blockchain technology.