Bitmain CEO Steps Down From World's Largest Bitcoin Mining Manufacturer
The CEO of the largest Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer has stepped down after an ugly fight with its co-founder.
- Bitmain co-founders settle after engaging in a year long battle.
- CEO Jihan Wu will step down as CEO and board member giving control to Micree.
- The settlement terms include $600 million in cash, Bitmain's subsidiary in the U.S., and a right to appoint new board members.
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The two co-founders of the Chinese-based mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain have reached a settlement of $600 million for a 50% share of the company.
Bitmain Saga Ends
Headquartered in Beijing, China, Bitmain was found by Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan in 2013.
The two co-founders have been engaged in a civil battle that has threatened to rip the company apart since 2019. After a year-long period of accusations and power moves, Wu has finally decided to step down.
Regarding the settlement between Bitmain’s two co-founders
Resilio Sync key: BEHPKSVC4IHNZ7YXP2K5TAVZYVYUAO57E
— Jihan Wu (@JihanWu) January 26, 2021
The settlement amount for “almost half” of Bitmain shares owned by Bitsource, a group of shareholders, which includes Wu, is $600 million. Zhan will take a $400 million loan from Bitmain’s cash reserves and use another $200 million of private funds to complete the transaction. In the end, Wu estimates that the company will be left with $327 million in reserves.
He wrote in the coded settlement letter:
“As such, the financials of Bitmain is strong and healthy so the loan to Micree will not have any negative impact to the sustainability of Bitmain’s operation.”
Further, Wu will also take over Bitmain’s child company, Bitdeer, which has mining farm operations in the U.S. and Norway.
Apart from the monetary and business compensation, Wu also has the right to appoint two out of five board members to the Chinese manufacturing company. The co-founder has nominated Xiang Zhu and Jianchun Liu for the positions.
Bitmain pushed for a Hong Kong stock market IPO in 2019 but failed due to adverse market conditions and the fight between co-founders. Wu noted that the new business model would “make it much easier to go for an IPO.”
Disclosure: The author held Bitcoin at the time of publication.