UK-Canadian company Argo Blockchain, which aims to enable cryptocurrency mining for the masses, is set to be the first blockchain company listed on London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The company, with a team of just 20 people, announced that it expects to be valued at around £40 million, with the aim of raising £20 million in the listing.
Co-founders Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards, explained that when they began exploring blockchain technology five years ago, one needed to be a tech-wizard to understand mining.
“More than 90 per cent of crypto-mining is done by elites on industrial scale, because it is technically very difficult to do”
Currently, the miners that support and execute decentralised transactions of cryptocurrencies, require powerful equipment and masses of electricity, which can be prohibitively expensive. Argo’s CEO, Bixby said:
“Mining is controlled by an elite. We don’t think that is reasonable and we think it is an impediment to scaling crypto.”
Argo has built a data centre that runs off cheap, green hydro-power and will sustain mining at scale. It is located in Quebec, one of the world’s largest crypto-mining hubs, favoured for keeping servers cool in it’s ideally cold climate.
Headquartered in London, Argo is offering mining as a service (MaaS). For a monthly subscription fee of $25 (£18), it provides anybody the opportunity to tap into its infrastructure and mine for currencies themselves. Canadian-born, Bixby explained:
“Our business is 100% about democratising the process. You can live anywhere in the world and mine crypto just as cheap as the elite are.”
In China, sharing computer power for through ‘crypto mining pools‘, is already popular with MaaS companies such as Antpool and . However, Argo has stated it will not hold virtual coins on behalf of its customers, or arrange mining pools, and it will limit customers to one contract each.
The co-founders said they were inspired by the success of Netflix’ globally popularised monthly subscription-based content model, and Amazon Web Services that has made ‘scaleable’ data processing accessible to anyone.
“We want to be the Amazon Web Services of crypto.”
The company, that enables mining for bitcoin gold, ethereum, ethereum classic, and Zcash through it’s platform, has said that the goal for year-one is to attract 30,000 subscribers, rising to 140,000 in year-two.
The demand for MaaS, certainly far outweighs the supply. Genesis Mining, an Icelandic company that launched three years ago, now has 2 million users signed up to three-year contracts, with a further eight month waiting list of customers.
Having raised $2.5m from private investors in January, Argo has got to IPO stage with phenomenal speed, no doubt having Gil Penchina on their side helps, the prolific angel investor of LinkedIn, Ripple, Brave and a former VP at Ebay.
The founders explained that they have chosen to list in London, because of the city’s standing as the global leader for financial technology.