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Bitmain Co-Founder Ousted in Reported Power Struggle
Will Wu Stay at the Helm of Bitmain & What Could Zhan Do?
Chinese-based firm Bitmain has long been known in cryptocurrency circles. Founded in 2013, it was one of the first companies to develop ASIC chips for cryptocurrency mining. They are also well known for founding the mining pools AntPool & BTC.com as well as their support for Bitcoin Cash.
Bitmain was founded by Jihan Wu, who was previously a private equity fund manager and Micree Zhan an electronics engineer and entrepreneur.
Reports from China seem to suggest that Zhan & Wu's 6-year long partnership is coming apart at the seams.
Bitmain's Founders Clash
Reports are surfacing that Jihan Wu is back as at the helm of Bitmain. In addition to that, it is rumored that Micree Zhan has been banned from Bitmain's office and Bitmain employees that will meet with Zhan will be terminated.
Jihan Wu has apparently taken back control of Bitmain following what he perceived as mismanagement. In an email sent to Bitmain employees, Jihan Wu's position is currently listed as Chairman of the board a change which would take investor approval.
It's possible that Jihan rounded shareholders to oust Micree, but needing to block Micree from entering the office, threatening employees to stop them from talking to him, in addition to Micree still being a corp manager, makes me feel that a #BitmainCivilWar is just starting.— Samson Mow (@Excellion) October 29, 2019
It has been reported by Techcrunch, that Zhan owned 36% of Bitmain circa 2018. It is likely that he still owns a sizable percentage in the company.
Bitmain & Zhan - Possible Outcomes
One can assume that the dispute between Wu & Zhan will end up in a Beijing courthouse. Zhan is allegedly currently threatening Bitmain with legal action. As a large holder of Bitmain shares, he could claim that his rights as a shareholder have been violated.
As the former technological expert in Bitmain, Zhan could hypothetically form a rival firm in the future.
Wu retaking control of Bitmain could also affect the cryptocurrency market. As a staunch Bitcoin Cash supporter, we could possibly see BCH increase in value. Under Wu's leadership in 2018, Antpool burned 12% of the BCH they mined by sending them to inaccessible addresses. Now that Wu is back in control, he could take action to try and strengthen BCH. News of Wu's alleged take over might have been pushing BCH upwards as it has had a 7% increase today and is currently trading at $290.