Oskar Soderstrom, CEO of Stockholm-based BTCX, confirmed to CoinDesk it’s looking to deliver an initial public offering (IPO) before the top of Q3 2020. Corporate financial advisory firm Eminova Partners has been engaged to assist file the offering, expected to require place in Sweden.
“Our aim is to bring bitcoin to the masses and to bridge the gap between new and traditional finance,” Soderstrom wrote in an email. “Being in new finance, an inventory of the corporate via a standard route seems like a natural progression to realize that goal.”
Launching in 2012, BTCX supports trading in bitcoin and ethereum, with the Swedish krona and therefore the euro as fiat funding options. It also features an “express” exchange facility, enabling transfers between digital and fiat currencies that complete during a matter of minutes. Users need to complete KYC/AML checks before they will use the firm’s services.
Following the collapse of the ICO market in 2018, cryptocurrency companies have increasingly turned to more traditional means to boost funds. IPOs, which are heavily regulated and usually accessible to most sorts of investors, allow companies to broaden their appeal and enhance their reputation among more skeptical elements of the financial world.
“Choosing a standard route could add additional transparency to an industry traditionally shaded within the eyes of the general public ,” Soderstrom said. With blockchain-based alternatives still during a phase of “immaturity,” he added, a public offering would also satisfy any concerns raised by Sweden’s chief financial regulator, the Finansinspektionen (FI).
There are some disadvantages to taking the IPO route, however. Investors can still lose money, as when the share price for cryptocurrency mining rig maker Canaan dropped 40 percent weeks after an IPO raised $90 million. Similarly, Chinese mining giant Bitmain had to step back from plans for an IPO in Hong Kong after profits dropped precipitously within the latter a part of 2018.
Despite this, Soderstrom is confident that if managed correctly the BTCX IPO are going to be a hit . “We believe the normal financial markets are going to be very curious about Sweden’s older crypto broker being listed,” he said.
UPDATE (Jan. 17, 17:48 UTC): A previous version of this text said BTCX had been established in 2013. This has since been corrected.