Melbourne-based Bitcoin Group to Launch World’s First Bitcoin IPO

Bitcoin Group is planning to list on the Australian Securities Exchange on October 29.

Photo: Cuba Gallery/Flickr

Photo: Cuba Gallery/Flickr

Bitcoin Group is going to list on the Australian stock exchange this November, thus becoming the first bitcoin firm that offers its shares in an IPO.

Sam Lee, Bitcoin Group’s CEO, said: “We believe for bitcoin businesses in the mining industry be taken seriously they need to first have the transparency, accountability and legitimacy of a listed company.”

The company is willing to obtain $20 million from investors. “It’s a cleanskin listing,” Lee said. “We’re not doing a reverse listing because we only want people who believe in us, instead of having a whole lot of baggage along for the ride.”

“Australia is more advanced than the US and listing on the main board of the ASX will help legitimise, not only ourselves, but the industry as well.”

Bitcoin Group, headquartered in Melbourne, provides the digital currency arbitrage service and plans to focus on mining as the main source of profits. The offering will be opened on October 29th.

Lee has also received support from Chinese millionaire Allan Gao, who has financed the majority part of the firm’s pre-IPO expenses, such as broking and legal fees.

“In all industries that resemble the Wild West there are some bad players, every new industry goes through that, whether it be the internet in the early days or the introduction of search engines,” Mr Lee said.

This summer, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for the first time issued guidance on the digital currencies taxation. Cryptocurrency could be subject to both goods and services and capital gains taxes. For instance, if you purchase bitcoin on the exchange, it would include 10% tax on goods and services.

According to Lee, the ATO’s guidelines are positive for bitcoin companies. “The ATO guidance from our point of view is workable and comprehensive […] To have a clear position from the ATO is better than not having one at all,” he said.

Bitcoin group’s move shows that players on the Australian exchange want to invest in digital currency. He also notes that his firm will provide its customers with transparency and protection, what is not offered by mining firms.

“Me and other local bitcoiners have been misled by over ambitious delivery dates of certain mining companies in the past, but due to the companies operating as private entities, investors and customers have no recourse to receive fair treatment,” he said.

Bitcoin group is not the only public bitcoin company. DigitalBTC and Bitcoin Shop also trade their shares on the exchanges, although through “backdoor listings”.

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