Temasek denies investment in Bitmain initial public offering

September 04, 2018
Chris Wheal

Blockchain, it has been suggested, can help win the fight against fake news – but such an innovation comes too late to have prevented the row over the funding of Bitmain’s initial public offering (IPO).

Temasek denies any involvement in Bitmain’s IPO, raising suspicions of fake news

Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek was reported – in some areas of the growing number of media outlets covering blockchain and cryptocurrencies – to have invested $560m in the pre-IPO stage of funding for the crypto exchange’s upcoming equity listing.

On Tuesday it issued a public statement denying any involvement in the Bitmain IPO.

Softbank denial

Some reports suggested an IPO valuation of as much as $15bn, with a number of major investors already on board. These included Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent and Japanese holding company Softbank, which owns nearly 30% of Alibaba and just short of half of Yahoo Japan.

Neither company is believed to be involved, and Softbank issued a public denial of its participation in the deal.

The latest denial from Temasek implicitly stated: “News reports about our involvement in Bitmain’s IPO are false.”

Media dilemma

This raises the question: is there a growing trend in fake news looking to artificially boost the profile of cryptocurrency exchanges, or is this an example of sloppy reporting by authors with no, or scant, journalism credentials on the growing number of media outlets dedicated to spreading the word on cryptocurrencies?

If the former is true, then blockchain has been suggested as a possible solution to the spread of fake news, using independent verifiers on its nodes to check the validity of certain stories before publication.

If it’s just inaccurate reporting, however, there’s little blockchain can do to offer a solution. Journalists, as ever, need to raise their game and avid followers of news on cryptocurrencies and blockchain need to be more discerning about the media they follow.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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