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Tech firm looks to Nasdaq as ASX knocks back another crypto IPO



The ASX rejected DSS’s application for listing in February, pointing to it concerns about crypto-related activities. The rejection prompted DSS to raise $1.5 million at a $40 million valuation to engage bankers who have now started the US-based IPO process.

DSS provides data storage solutions, and is one of the storage suppliers to the Filecoin protocol, a decentralised data storage network that is a direct competitor to global giants Amazon and Microsoft Azure’s cloud storage businesses. It offers a cryptocurrency to those who provide capacity.

Eligible cryptocurrencies

The ASX declined to comment on specific companies, but referred The Australian Financial Review to its updated admission checklist that only acknowledges bitcoin and ethereum as eligible crypto-assets and a required level of crypto-custodian experience.

But DSS argues the rejection limits Australian retail investor access to a new wave of genuine business opportunities, forcing operators offshore and exacerbating an already dwindling-local sharemarket, which is set to shrink $43 billion by year-end thanks to a dearth of fresh IPOs.

“Australian investors are likely to understand what we do. We’re selling compute and data storage to customers,” Mr Leece said. “We’ve just secured our networks on a blockchain, that’s what makes us cheaper than Amazon and Azure.”

Companies like DSS build large server warehouses and sell data storage to big enterprise customers, like the Victor Chang research centre, which is chaired by high-profile investment banker and Barrenjoey founder Matthew Grounds.

Victor Chang and other research institutes use DSS’s decentralised cloud-storage services to preserve reams of highly regulated and sensitive research data.

The data is stored using the Filecoin protocol, which is secured by all the contributors – such as fellow Australian-based crypto operator Holon Investments – which generate Filecoin tokens in return.

Bitcoin miners Iris Energy and Mawson Infrastructure – which is an investor in DSS – listed on the Nasdaq in 2021 after both receiving rejection letters from the ASX.

James Manning, founder of Mawson Infrastructure, recently resigned as chief executive due to the punishing distance from his Australian-based family.

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