LONDON — A new company that lets people mine cryptocurrencies through a subscription service has announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange, a first for the exchange.
Argo Blockchain said in a statement on Monday it hopes to raise £20 million in the listing and expects to be valued at around £40 million. Argo says it will be the first crypto-mining company to join London’s stock market.
The company was set up last year to provide what it calls “mining-as-a-service.” The subscription-based service allows consumers to mine cryptocurrencies through their smartphones and computers through Argo’s website.
Mining is the process through which new cryptocurrencies are created. Computers complete complex cryptographic tasks, which help to process crypto transactions, and are rewarded for their work with newly minted digital coins.
However, as the network matures it gets harder and harder to earn new cryptocurrencies and, as a result, the amount of computer processing power needed is increasingly rapidly.
Argo cofounder Mike Edwards said in a statement: “Setting up a computer rig to mine cryptocurrency is challenging, inefficient and expensive. I knew that we had to change the game and democratise the process so that crypto-mining could become a mainstream consumer activity.”
Mining “pools” that allow people to band together to share computer power for crypto mining are already popular in China, with services such as Antpool and BTC.com.
Argo will charge customers $25 or £18 a month to join its mining pools, which will let users mine bitcoin gold, ethereum, ethereum classic, and Zcash. Argo’s mining facility is located in Quebec, a crypto mining hub, but is headquartered in London.
Jonathan Bixby, executive chairman of Argo, said: “A London stock market listing will provide Argo with the profile, credibility and access to global capital to drive our growth and help us establish a leadership position in the long term.”
Bixby was entrepreneur-in-residence at Vancouver-based startup accelerator GrowLab prior to Argo. He had set up and sold two tech companies in the past. Edwards is a serial tech investor and has backed businesses that have been sold to Google, Twitter, and Yahoo.