In finance a unicorn is a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion. The term was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical rarity of such successful ventures. But cryptocurrency has been changing this unique phenomena to a point it will soon be called New York Traffic Jam.
As a point of curiosity, a decacorn is a word used for those companies over $10 billion, while hectocorn is the appropriate term for such a company valued over $100 billion. According to TechCrunch, there were 279 unicorns as of March 2018. The largest unicorns included Ant Financial, Didi Chuxing, Uber, Xiaomi, Airbnb, Palantir, and Pinterest. Dropbox is the most recent decacorn that turned into a public company on March 23, 2018.
Three bitcoin mining companies have joined a list of “unicorns” – private companies valued at over $1 billion – for the first time.
The Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute published its Q2 Unicorn Index for the Greater China region on Wednesday, which notably included the names of several major bitcoin mining firms: Bitmain, Canaan Creative and Ebang. The third Hurun list of 130 Chinese unicorns has never before featured a fully cryptocurrency-focused firm.
Ranking highest of the three, Bitmain appears at 13th on the list with a valuation of around 70 billion yuan, or about $10.4 billion, close to other notable companies such as JD Logistics.
The ranking follows recent news indicating that Bitmain has completed a Series B round funding that could value the firm around $10 billion ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO).
Meanwhile, Hurun values Canaan and Ebang at around $3 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively – figures that saw the firms placed at at 32nd and 53rd on the list, also respectively.
Recent reports have indicated that Canaan and Ebang too have both filed applications to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. However, since the IPO applications were in initial draft form, it is unclear how much the two were seeking to raise or what their valuations might be. According to a previous report from Reuters, in mid-2017, Canaan was estimated to be worth around $500 million.
While the three are the first fully devoted bitcoin firms to appear on the Greater China Unicorn Index, some of the companies already on the list have already made major moves in the blockchain industry.
For instance, Ant Financial – a payment affiliate of Alibaba that tops the list with a valuation of $149 billion – announced late last month that it has launched a blockchain-powered payment corridor between Hong Kong and the Philippines.