AUSTRALIA’S richest man has been in the news for months, with reports of a potential takeover of his popular online bitcoin exchange.
The announcement came from billionaire mining company Bitfury on Thursday.
The company’s CEO, Alexander Ivanishvili, told the Australian Financial Review the company was working on its own digital currency but had no plans to take on bitcoin at this stage.
“It’s time for us to focus more on the mining of bitcoins,” Mr Ivanishvsaid.
He also said the company had not received any formal takeover offer, but that he was “open to discussions” with potential partners.
In the same interview, he also said he was keen to focus his efforts on his business, Bitfuries mining company.
Mr IvanishVsays his goal is to be able to mine and distribute bitcoins as quickly as possible, and to make the process “faster and easier”.
“We’re not really in a position to talk about any other kind of investment,” he said.
“But, yes, we would be open to discussions.”
Bitfury was founded in 2014 by Mr Ivanyvili and a number of other prominent Australian entrepreneurs.
It has been working on mining bitcoins for a number for years, but this is the first time it has taken on bitcoin.
The company said it would have to seek permission from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to take the company public, and said it planned to seek approval for a stock offering in the second half of the year.
The news comes as bitcoin prices have fallen sharply over the past two weeks, with the value of the cryptocurrency falling to $12,000.
Bitcoins price has also fallen sharply in recent weeks, following the announcement of the takeover by Bitfurry.
Bitfuries shares have plummeted by more than 20 per cent over the last 24 hours, with some investors buying the shares at a discount.
One analyst said the recent drop in the price was due to a lack of “bullish” news coming out of the Chinese market, with Chinese regulators refusing to allow companies to sell into the cryptocurrency market.
Bitcoin mining is the process of extracting and mining bitcoin.
It uses electricity and large amounts of processing power.
Bitcoin is the digital currency that can be used to buy goods and services online.