Recently, Hongkong listed company Madison（8057.HK）has issued in consecutive two announcements with indication of the clear involvement of BitMEX, renowned as one of the world’s largest independent digital supply chain providers.
The first announcement issued by Madison on December 9 was the signing of the acquisition agreement, which verified the news of November 20 when the company announced that its subsidiary, Madison Lab Limitted, was planning to acquire a 67.2% stake in Bitocean, a Japanese cryptocurrency trading platform, which subsequently boosted the company’s stock price up by 40% the same day. Yet, a few days later, some reports pointed out that few of the company’s frequent acquisitions made it any further after its stock price was pulled up.
For example, the company announced at the beginning of this year that it offered high price for 20% stake from BITPoint, another licensed exchange in Japan. However, the dealing was terminated in a few months. The abortion of this acquisition was reportedly due to Madison’s judgement upon BITPoint’s weak revenue capacity.
Interestingly, after half a year, the company decided to purchase a much smaller exchange in spite of the long bear market. On December 11, Madison announced the details of a potential sale where a 51% stake in Madison Lab Limited would be sold to HDR Cadenza Management Limited（HDR）, including 51% profit in the 67.2% stake owned by Bitocean. Some insiders in the industry have found HDR appears to be affiliated with Bitmex. Given that BITMEX per se cannot operate its own capital, it is clear that HDR is its legal entity. BitMEX has been the leader in cryptocurrency trading with tens of billions of market value.
And its daily trading volume remains over 2 billion US dollars, surpassing other exchanges in the industry. Data authenticity and brand competition have made BitMEX stand out in the digital exchange market and attract more futures trades under the fluctuated bear market. Its revenue capacity was not affected by even the bear-market bottoms.
Bitocean, by comparison, has relatively less branding and potential, and what both parties need to pay is just the license cost. BitMEX is expected to move its mature products to the Japanese market first, and then possibly transfer gradually the main body and most of its trading volume to get the protection of Japanese compliance licenses. Since BitMEX’s trades are mainly Bitcoin futures, Japan’s regulation will be beneficial for it, and its trade can be promoted in public. Thus, the Bitocean brand seems promising in becoming the world’s largest legal cryptocurrency trading platform. In terms of capital, although the market is constantly maturing and improving, organizations such as asset management companies, pension funds and investment banks have not yet supported the bitcoin transactions, in that the supervision is not clear enough and the exchanges are often hacked.
However, the security and professionality attributes of BitMEX futures trading, coupled with the blessing of licenses, have made BitMEX an important partner for Madison to enter the industry, even under the current trading structure. Madison certainly stood to firm reasons for making this acquisition. Although started by trading high-end wines, Madison acquired CVP Capital Limited and CVP Asset Management Limited in 2017, possessing No. 1, 4, 6, and 9 licenses from HK SFC. And in 2018, it acquired a tech company specialized in computing power called Diginex High Performance Computing Limited, aiming for not only the blockchain mining industry, but also the advanced computing output capability in 5G telecommunication.
In addition, a joint venture focusing on blockchain commercialization consulting, the Blockhouse Technology Limited, was recently established by Madison and Oxford University collaboratively. It is undeniable that Madison is now transforming to target at the financial market, especially the blockchain.
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