Israel's Blockchain Mining Bets on Overseas Listings for Survival

With a regulatory storm brewing at home, Israel's Blockchain Mining is planning to secure its future by listing on NASDAQ and the TSE, or at least on one of these North American exchanges.

Blockchain Mining, the Israeli gold and iron ore extractor turned cryptocurrency miner, is working towards flotations on NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) in a move that may very well ensure its survival given the regulatory backlash in its home country.

Roy Sebag, CEO of Blockchain Mining, disclosed the plans on Tuesday in an interview for Reuters. Sebag, who is also a controlling shareholder in the company, said the idea was to offer investors shares and advanced depositary receipts (ADRs). Blockchain Mining is currently conducting a financial audit, expecting its completion by the end of June and then listing by July.

The Israeli company is keen on joining the roster of both NASDAQ and the TSE but may ultimately settle for one.

“We like the idea of being on both. We may end up deciding to be on one North American exchange,” Sebag said.

In Canada, Blockchain Mining is nearing the close of a reverse merger that will see it take control of local crypto miner Backbone Hosting Solution. Known as Bitfarms, the Canadian company currently operates four mining pools but expects to have another three up and running this year.

The flight to foreign listing venues is Blockchain Mining’s response to the current situation in Israel, where the securities regulator has proposed a trading ban for Tel Aviv-listed companies whose business is related to cryptocurrencies. Shmuel Hauser, chairman of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), said last month:

“If we have a company that their main business is digital currencies, we would not allow it. If already listed, its trading will be suspended.”

The ISA proposals would not affect companies whose equity exceeds 100 million shekels ($29 million) and whose financial statements have been audited for at least three years.

While Blockchain Mining has equity of about 140 million shekels, it is working on the assumption that its time on the Tel Aviv exchange may be running out.

“Right now, we are in survival mode. We have been attacked by the regulator. So we are saying, ‘we are going to fight you on this rule but we are going to list on two exchanges as well so if your rule goes through we are still listed on them,'” Sebag told Reuters.

Blockchain Mining was previously called Natural Resource Holdings and its business revolved around gold, silver, and iron ore mining. In August 2017, the company announced it was shifting its focus to cryptocurrencies and changed its name accordingly. The pivot led to a 5,000% surge in the stock price over the following months and was largely responsible for triggering the ISA backlash.