A London-based start-up that invests in the technology behind crypto-currency bitcoin is planning to list on London's AIM in what is believed to be the first IPO for a blockchain company.
Coinsilium was launched in London in 2013 by the founders of bitcoin and blockchain incubator Seedcoin to invest in early-stage blockchain start-ups.
The company is due to float in August on the AIM, a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange and the exchange venue of choice for tech-focused firms, and will be listed under the ticker COIN. The company hopes to raise £3 million from the IPO which it will use to fund further investments and increase its holdings in the 11 companies it already has in its portfolio.
Venture capital in bitcoin and blockchain start-ups totalled more than $500 million in 2014. But while bitcoin has undergone a mixed relationship with investors in the last 12 months following the collapse of bitcoin exchange MtGox, the interest in the blockchain is growing, not least because the technology is believed to have a wider application than payments.
The technology has also been endorsed by a number of banks including Citi, UBS, Barclays, Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas as a way to reduce costs and improve transparency for financial transactions and earlier this year US-based exchange Nasdaq OMX announced plans to use the technology for recordkeeping for its pre-IPO market.
The IPO is also encouraging for the City of London which is aiming to be an investment hub for fintech startups and Coinsilium chief executive Eddy Travia cited the enthusiasm of both the Bank of England and the UK government towards the blockchain as a reason for listing in London rather than the US.