Stung by its own government banning cryptocurrency exchanges at home, Bitmain, the most influential corporation in the Bitcoin industry, launched their digital currency exchange, DEx.top, in Zug, Switzerland.
A native of Haidian, Beijing, Bitmain is considered the big daddy in the crypto economy as it is the world’s largest producer of Bitcoin mining hardware (ASIC chips) and lords over 70-80% market share.
Bitmain also owns the two largest mining pools, Antpool and BTC.com.
DEx.top is a smart move as it would help Bitmain diversify its portfolio and expand its market, given the fact that decentralized exchanges are the trend now, and ether tokens make up for the majority of the ICOs.
Bitmain claims DEx.top is an extremely safe, decentralized exchange.
Users transact using smart contracts without the need for central control, which should prevent coins from getting lost or stolen.
To place DEx.top in Switzerland’s Crypto Valley is strategic, as the Swiss government is supportive of the crypto economy.
Other than Bitmain, Zug has become a new hub for international crypto companies such as the Ethereum foundation, an open-source platform used for many newer cryptocurrencies.
However, Bitmain is neither the first initiative nor a rare one either.
While platforms like BitShares and NXT have been in the grid for some time now, exchange market leader Binance announced launching their own decentralized exchange earlier this year.
Currently, traders will be able to trade ether tokens and not bitcoin on DEx.top.
The exchange plans to extend to other cryptocurrencies in the future, the group told the Swiss newspaper NZZ.
“As a decentralized exchange, DEx.top might be able to provide a new architecture and secure platform for new blockchain projects,” Hu Yechuan, co-founder of the leading Chinese blockchain community DAOONE, told The Passage.
Hu thinks that the robustness of the platform remains to proven, as he does not see much traction in the community development yet.
However, he sees potential in DEx.top being able to establish a diversified community with many projects listed on the exchange since Bitmain can rely on a “strong and global” ecosystem.
Bitmain tapping into the exchange market is supported by their USD 110 million investment in the U.S. mobile payment and crypto trading company, Circle Internet Financial in May 2018, Financial Times reported.
“Bitmain, as the largest blockchain company worldwide, expands its market in diversifying products and services and investing in other tech companies such as the Norwegian web browser Opera,” Jeff Frey, community director Asia at the Crypto Valley-based rating Alethena.com, explained.
But it is highly unlikely that Bitmain would reach a high market share on the exchange market due to intense competition and already established operators, Frey said.
The group is valued at USD 12 billion, Caixin reported.
Co-CEO Wu Jihan announced in June that his company was considering an IPO in Hong Kong and that his company generated revenue of USD 3.5 billion in 2017.
(Katrin Buechenbacher is a Swiss freelance journalist based in Beijing. She focuses on the tech and startup ecosystem in Beijing. She can be reached at email@example.com)