During the gold rush of the 18th century, many made their fortunes by selling unglamorous supplies like pickaxes and wheelbarrows to miners. In today’s digital gold rush, supplying equipment to bitcoin miners is where the money’s at.

Canaan Creative, the world’s second-largest maker of bitcoin mining rigs, yesterday (May 15) filed to go public in Hong Kong, according to media reports (paywall). The Chinese company is reportedly seeking to raise up to $1 billion, in what is expected to be the world’s biggest crypto-related initial public offering (IPO) ever.

The company didn’t immediately reply to Quartz’s request for comment about the details of the IPO, which is expected to take place as soon as July. Canaan is known for mass producing chips designed for bitcoin mining, known as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), under the brand name Avalon.

The company comes after Beijing-based competitor Bitmain as the world’s second-largest bitcoin mining hardware supplier in market share. It was founded in 2013 (link in Chinese) by Zhang Nangeng, a chip-design expert in his mid-thirties.

The initial Avalon machine was the first bitcoin-mining ASIC sold to retail users. Prior to that, most people used the graphic cards of their PC to mine the cryptocurrency, which was far less efficient. Read more from qz.com…

thumbnail courtesy of qz.com