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Aussie online currency outfit Bitcoin Group to debut on ASX


After months of delays, Australian company Bitcoin Group will finally make its share market debut in February.

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The Melbourne-based company is the first cryoptocurrency miner in the world to offer shares through an initial public offering, which opened on December 24.

It is offering investors 100 million shares at 20 cents each to raise $20 million in the IPO, which closes on January 25.

The company, which lodged its first prospectus in July 2015, has revised the document three times on orders from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to clarify some details.

Chief executive Sam Lee said the steps were expected for a company setting a precedent in new industries, and a goal of the ASX float was to give the entire bitcoin industry some accountability and transparency.

Bitcoin is a digital currency, a medium of exchange that is electronically created and stored with no central authority, and no physical notes or coins.

As a bitcoin miner, Bitcoin Group earns money from validating peer-to-peer bitcoin transactions which are recorded on the `blockchain’ – the digital currency’s publicly accessible money ledger.

The “mining’ process involves solving complex, time-consuming mathematical equations known as `blocks’ using purpose-built supercomputers.

Bitcoin Group, which has five computer centres in China, is able to crack one to two blocks a day using 6,000 machines.

The company earns 25 bitcoins per block, but that rate is set to halve after July 2016.

However Lee said that as the dollar value of Bitcoins – currently worth $A640 each- fluctuates wildly, the loss of revenue could potentially be offset by the currency’s appreciation.

With the float, the company is offering tech-savvy investors the opportunity to invest in the digital currency and the technology behind bitcoin.

“This is a billion-dollar opportunity rather than a million dollar one,” Lee said.

“Bitcoin will revolutionise the world of finance because it has the potential to make the world of finance more accountable and cheaper to operate.”

About $18 million from the IPO will be spent on more computers to bolster the group’s mining power.

Bitcoin Group shares are due to start trading on February 2.

Another bitcoin miner, Digital BTC, joined the local share market through a backdoor listing in July 2014.



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