By issuing a stop order, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has further stalled the initial public offering (IPO) requested by Bitcoin mining company Bitcoin Group Limited (BGL, or simply: Bitcoin Group). The reason for this stop order is as of yet not known.
A stop order is an administrative mechanism that allows ASIC to prevent offers being made under a disclosure document, which is presented to prospective buyers of Bitcoin Group shares. Such a measure can be taken when ASIC believes the IPO contains a misleading statement, requires additional information, or if a new circumstance has come up since the disclosure document was lodged. It is unclear why Bitcoin Group was issued a stop order.
A hearing will be held within 21 days to allow Bitcoin Group to put its views to an independent delegate. After the hearing, ASIC may lift the interim stop order, or place a final stop order preventing the IPO from happening.
Bitcoin Group is a Bitcoin mining operator based in Melbourne, with close ties to the Chinese mining industry. The company claims to currently produce some 1.45% of global mining output by operating 5.3 petahashes of mining hardware in seven mining sites across China, as well as Iceland and Australia.
Bitcoin Group CEO Samuel Lee had announced that his company lodged its IPO Prospectus to ASIC on the June 29. According to Proactive Investors Australia, Bitcoin Group was expecting to raise AU$20 million (US$15m) through their IPO. Of this AU$20 million, the company was planning to invest AU$18 million of the funds raised into Bitcoin mining hardware and facilities, with another AU$2 million to cover general corporate purposes.
Several key investors had already committed to remain as shareholders of Bitcoin Group for at least 12 months from the listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). These include Harry Wang, Managing Director of Australia's third largest money remittance company ANYING, Victor Huang, Managing Director of media agency OzYu Entertainment & Investment as well as OzStudy Group, and Richard Gu, Managing Director of investment company AXF Group.
It is not the first time BGL has faced scrutiny from ASIC. In February of this year, the bitcoin company posted information about its proposed IPO on Chinese social media platform WeChat. ASIC subsequently ordered Bitcoin Group to not make any public statements concerning its proposed IPO until after BGL lodged the prospectus.
Cointelegraph reached out to ASIC and Bitcoin Group, but has received no response at time of publication.