Bitmain, the largest manufacturer of mining equipment in the crypto industry, is gearing up to face its future without longtime chief executive Jihan Wu. However, the company remains optimistic that Wu’s departure won’t affect its operations.
Business as Usual
Bitmain published a press release confirming that longtime CEO Jihan Wu had left the company. Bitmain’s statement assured shareholders and customers that its operations would go on as planned. The firm reiterated its commitment to customers, explaining that all delivery and sales would go on as scheduled as it works to find Wu’s replacement and move forward.
“Antminer will continue to be fully committed to bringing innovative products, as well as providing you with high-quality services,” the release explains.
Wu was one of Bitmain’s founders, establishing the company in 2013. Under his leadership, the company gained a significant position in the global crypto space, becoming the world’s top manufacturer and seller of Bitcoin mining equipment. Bitmain expanded into several countries, and it even tried to file for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) more than once. Bitmain is the largest manufacturer of bitcoin mining rigs. Just last week, Riot Blockchain purchased $25 million worth of mining gear from Bitmain.
The company also owns Antpool and BTC.com, two mining pools that control about a fifth of all Bitcoin mining and 30 percent of Bitcoin Cash mining.
Ending the Family Feud
Sadly, the last year was filled with corporate infighting between Wu and one of his former partners, Micree Zhan. The conflict began in late 2019, when a mysterious company memo confirmed that Zhan been kicked out of his board position and the company in general.
Zhan responded in kind, kicking off a legal dispute between him and Wu that spanned through 2020. The conflict had effects on Bitmain, with industry news source The Block Beats reporting that Zhan had temporarily halted shipments from its Shenzhen subsidiary after taking control of it. For a business of Bitmain’s standards, it’s only standard that they came out to clear all doubts that their internal squabbles won’t have negative external effects.
Wu eventually announced his departure earlier this week, adding that the dispute between him and Zhan had ended amicably.
As part of their agreement, Zhan purchased Bitmain shares worth $600 million from Qu and several other shareholders. Wu will also move on to head Bitdeer, Bitmain’s contract cloud mining service. On the other hand, Zhan will lead Antpool, which will spin-off from Bitmain into an independent company,