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Basics

Bitmain Tech Ltd.

  • Founded in China, 2013, Q1
  • Creator of the Antminer
  • Runs Antpool
  • Runs BTC.com pool since 2016. Founders of BTC.com have created Poolin. In June 2019, it was revealed that Bitmain was suing three former employees for violating a non-compete agreement by launching Poolin. Update (16-2-2021): sold the mining pool to 500.com.
  • Parent of Hashnest, a cloud hashing platform
  • Headquartered in Beijing, with offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Qingdao, Chengdu and Shenzhen. Had to shut down it's development center in Ra’anana, Israel in the bear market of 2018. Bitmaintech Israel was the company’s first R&D center outside of China. It created the ‘Connect BTC’ mining pool and also developed Artificial Intelligence applications for the Chinese company. Has suspended mining at its Rockdale, Texas facility east of Austin; converting a former aluminum smelter, Bitmain’s arrival was welcomed in the small town with low energy costs and industrial infrastructure; Bitmain had announced its move to Rockdale in July 2018, but has closed multiple mining facilities; all but three employees have been laid off for the time being. In 2-2019 their hashrate also dropped significantly from 42% to 26%.
  • According to a blog by bitmain: “Bitmain and ViaBTC only share an investment relationship in which ViaBTC operates independently. The founder of ViaBTC has ten times the voting rights as those of the investors of ViaBTC. Therefore, the position of ViaBTC does not represent Bitmain’s stance.”
  • Big in BCH

"Facing pressure from the Chinese government, bitcoin mining collectives are shifting their operations overseas, Bloomberg reports. Bitmain, which runs China’s two largest bitcoin-mining collectives, is setting up a regional headquarters in Singapore and has expanded its operations to the U.S. and Canada."

Team

Leadership

"CoinDesk has obtained and verified a partial transcript from the hourlong meeting on Tuesday. In it, Jihan Wu, a co-founder of Bitmain who started the company with Zhan in 2013, explained to all employees why he thought it was necessary to oust his long-time partner and former co-CEO.

After stepping down from day-to-day management in December 2018, Wu returned Tuesday as chairman of the company and executive director of the Beijing Bitmain subsidiary. Earlier in the day, Wu notified staff that Zhan had been dismissed from all his roles, effective immediately. During the subsequent all-hands meeting, he described a falling-out between the two executives late last year. "Zhan escalated what should be a disagreement on an ordinary company business decision to the level of power struggle,” Wu told the staff. Wu said in Tuesday’s meeting that he and Zhan have butted heads since 2015.

However, things came to a head in December 2018 when Bitmain decided on a round of major layoffs. Wu pushed for the layoffs, while Zhan initially resisted. According to Wu, he and three other founding members of Bitmain tried to persuade Zhan to reach an unanimous decision on the layoffs, which Wu and others viewed as necessary for saving the company. Zhan remained unconvinced, however, and tried to rally other senior and mid-level management against the layoff plan, Wu said, only to find out that most supported it. The two came to an agreement to both step down as co-CEOs and Bitmain moved ahead with the layoffs.

But even with bitcoin’s price rebound in 2019, Wu said the company didn’t fully seize the moment. “Our mining equipment’s market share is declining,” he said. “Our mining pools’ dominance is also declining.” Indeed, Bitmain’s major rival miner makers including Canaan, WhatsMiner and InnoSilicon have all been able to increase sales following the market boom this year. Meanwhile, BTC.com and Antpool, Bitmain’s flagship mining pools, lost their long-time dominant positions to Poolin – founded by former BTC.com creators – and F2Pool. Poolin and F2pool are currently the top two mining pools in the world, based on the real-time hash rate distribution.

However, a major question remains unanswered: How did Bitmain manage to dismiss Zhan from all of his roles given that he was the chairman and major shareholder?"

Other employees:

  • Gadi Glikberg, who headed the Israeli company and served as a VP at Bitmain lost his position when Bitmain had to shut down the development center in Israel due to the bearmarket in 2018. Months after it filed an application to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Beijing-based cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain is undergoing a series of business changes that extend even to its China offices: “It’s affirmative. The layoff will start next week and involves more than 50 percent of the entire Bitmain’s headcount,” replied one verified Bitmain staff on Maimai to the thread. “Some departments have to be let go entirely,” replied another verified Bitmain employee on the same thread. “Now Bitmain has about 3,100 people, even several hundreds more than what was disclosed in the IPO prospectus in September. But there were only about 1,000 people at the beginning of the year,” the source said, adding the growth rate is like two to three times in general.
  • Yuan Zhang; CEO assistant and Blockchain PM of Bitmain Technology
  • Yu Wei - former executive
  • Chuanwei Zhou; Chief Economist, recently quit Bitmain to join WxBlockchain. Before Bitmain, Zhou was a researcher at the People’s Bank of China
  • Nishant Sharma; public relations
  • Zuoxing Yang; formerly processor design director at Bitmain "Zuoxing Yang is being held by local police to assist an investigation. The investigation is likely over allegations of intellectual property infringement by the firm related to the technology of its rival Beijing-based crypto mining giant Bitmain, according to one source close to MicroBT with knowledge of the matter. Yang was formerly processor design director at Bitmain, responsible for developing the firm’s flagship AntMiner S7 and S9 models around 2016. However, he left the company and raised over $20 million to found MicroBT – which produces the WhatsMiner range of mining devices – after discussions with Zhan and Wu for stock options fell through."

Funding

"Prior to the December 2018 shake-up, Zhan held 36 percent of Bitmain’s holding company while Wu had just 20.25 percent, according to Bitmain’s 2018 IPO filing in Hong Kong citing data from September 2018.

Other major shareholders include founding members Yuesheng Ge (4.18 percent), Zhaofeng Zhao (6.26 percent), and Yishuo Hu (4.18 percent), as well as a trust that held 18.47 percent as the company’s employee stock-option incentive.

Other major external shareholders include Sequoia China Capital (2.7 percent), Richway Investment Limited (1.17 percent) and Sinovation (1.13 percent)."

  • Made an 110 million investment in Circle (which bought Poloniex and has partnerships with Goldman Sachs)
  • Made an 50 million investment in the Opera Browser. Opera Limited, the parent company of Opera Software AS, filed a registration statement with the SEC on June 30, 2018. According to the filing, the company intends to use the proceeds from the IPO for distribution and marketing to increase brand awareness across all markets, as well as R&D to “continue to strengthen our AI-driven content discovery.” It will issue American Depositary Shares in an undisclosed ratio to its common stock. Goldman Sachs and CICC have been brought on board to underwrite the offerings.
  • Was lead in an investment round in EOS creator Block.one. Is also a EOS Block Producer under the name EOSAntPool https://ethereumworldnews.com/bitmain-eos/
  • Finances Ryan X. Charles, and his project Money Button
  • Invested in NULS
  • Invested in Perlin and Cortex
  • Helps development for BCH by partially funding Bitcoin ABC, however the website of ABC shows they have money problems and therefor are doing a fundraiser. (1-8-2019)
  • Aquired the startup behind and open-source bitcoin cash wallet called Telescope. It can operate on Google Chrome or Modzilla Firefox though the team plans to expand to other platforms following the acquisition.
  • Participated (25-6-2020) in a $12M private sale of Avalanche.
  • Participated in the NuCypher SAFT (7-10-2019).
  • From Cointelegraph (2-12-2020):

"Jonas Schnelli, a major Bitcoin Core contributor and maintainer, claimed that Bitmain halted its support after funding his efforts for more than three years. In a Dec. 1 tweet, Schnelli said that he lost his sponsorship from Bitmain alongside Joao Barbosa, another Bitcoin Core contributor also known under the “Promag” nickname on GitHub. Bitmain did not respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment as of publishing time."

Partnerships

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