Bitmain, the Chinese mining hardware producer, made an estimated 3-4 billion USD in operating profit in 2017, according to an analysis made by Bernstein Research.
This figure was based on conservative estimates of gross margin of 75 percent and operating margin of 65 percent, according to a report on the subject by CNBC.
The analysis compares Bitmain to Nvidia, an American artificial intelligence company – the two companies earned roughly the same amount last year, but the latter, a household name in the US, took 24 years to get itself into that position. Bitmain, which is altogether more secretive, took just 4, according to a report in Bitcoin.com.
It also points out that Bitmain’s dominance in terms of hardware production and sales stands at around 70% – when individuals and entities want to get into the mining game, they invariable look to Bitmain. Well-publicised examples include Long Blockchain Corp. (formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea Corp.) and Riot Blockchain (formerly known as Bioptix).
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What is Bitmain?
Bitmain designs and manufactures the chips used in ASIC machines. Application-specific integrated circuit machines, to use the full name, are the leading tools used in Bitcoin mining. The company doesn’t only produce the machines, it mines with them too – Bitmain-controlled mining pools account for more than 40% of the worldwide hashrate, according to blockchain.info.
As the Chinese government last year began to show signs of planning to rid the land of anything to do with cryptocurrency, Bitmain was already making contingency plans, so that when the death knell was finally sounded, it was well-set up to continue operations with centres in Singapore, the US, and Canada.
In addition to this, it recently opened offices in the cryptocurrency haven of Zug in Switzerland, and it has also been venturing into the world of artificial intelligence with its subsidiary Bitmaintech Israel, through which it had also opened ConnectBTC, in its first ever foreign mining pool, in April 2017.
It was reported to have raised 50 million USD in investment money from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital, of the US and China respectively, and in May, it announced a partnership with BitPay, a Bitcoin payment processor from the American city of Atlanta, which is notable for its Bitcoin debit card.
Bernstein was founded in the US in 1967. It is a brokerage that also provides sell-side research.