Bitmain, the leading Bitcoin mining firm, is expanding into internet browsers as it is acquiring a $50 million stake in Opera.
It appears that Bitmain, the China-based cryptocurrency mining company, is not content with dominating one particular industry. It is slowly expanding its reach, and its latest acquisition is a stake in Opera Ltd., the parent company of the Opera internet browser.
From Mining to Browsing
Opera Ltd. filed for an IPO last week in order to raise $115 million. The Norway-based company is the parent company for the Opera internet browser, which boasts an average of 322 million users per month.
As part of the IPO, Opera is making some several private deals as well. First, they are selling $10 million in shares to two buyers. The other private deal finds them selling $50 million in shares to Tospring, which is Bitmain.
The goal of the IPO is to raise funds to be used for working capital, research and development, marketing, and other business-related ventures. While the Opera browser is free to use, it generates revenue through search partners and advertising. The browser company posted a loss of $12.7 million in 2016, but it generated a profit of $6.1 million last year. Now its coffers will be even more full with money raised from its IPO and the sale of shares to Bitmain and two other corporations.
One could easily say that Bitmain is on a roll, and they are definitely getting bigger. The crypto mining company earned between 3 to 4 billion in revenue last year. It has also raised substantial monies through two rounds of funding. The first round of funding last year raised $50 million, but the most recent round raised a staggering $300 – 400 million. The company is now valued at $12 billion.
It seems that the company is not resting on its mining laurels. Co-founder Jihan Wu has said that he wishes to create private, blockchain-based banks. While details are still sketchy on how centralized banking will take place upon the blockchain, Bitmain is looking to invest in quite a few startups in this sphere.
Of course, Bitmain currently holds a commanding share of the Bitcoin blockchain’s hashrate. Through BTC.com and Antpool (both owned or controlled by Bitmain), the company has almost a 42 percent share of Bitcoin’s hashrate. This percentage could be raised a few points if the company ceased mining for Bitcoin Cash.
Overall, the cryptocurrency mining giant is taking its considerable profits and using them to expand their reach. First mining, then blockchain-based banking startups, and now the Opera web browser. Who knows what industry the company will buy into next?
What do you think about Bitmain buying a $50 million stake in the Opera web browser? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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