Bitmain, the largest bitcoin mining company, reportedly made a loss of $310 million in the first quarter of this year. According to a report on Tencent’s QQ, the mining giant made stunning losses of $625 in the first two months of this year, which were mitigated by a $315 million profit in March.
The bad performance was caused by a lack of demand for its 16nm range of mining machines, which were then sold at lower prices.
Bitmain has long been the market leader in the production and design of ASIC chips which are used to more efficiently mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However the business is largely dependent on the price of bitcoin and its hashrate—factors which are both wildly variable and hard to predict.
In fact, the market conditions got so bad during 2018 and the start of 2019 that the company had to close its offices in Amsterdam and Israel. However, the price of bitcoin rose suddenly in May from lows of $5,300 to $8,500 by the end of the month, which should have alleviated some of the pressure on Bitmain.
A Bitmain spokesperson refused to comment on the report.
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Looking ahead, Bitmain has recently released a new series of 7nm miners, that it expects should generate an influx of sales. According to the report, Bitmain is expecting them to push up its profits later this year.
Bitmain planned on launching an IPO in the second half of 2018, but the application expired in March this year. Now, however, there are rumors re-emerging that the mining company may revive its IPO launch due to the predicted revenue boost expected for the rest of the year. But with the price of bitcoin so variable—and so important to Bitmain's revenues—nothing can be taken for granted.
Update [August 3, 18:19 UTC] Comment added per the Bitmain spokesperson and the article was amended to show the series of 7nm miners have already been released.