Bitmain’s Woes Continue as Company Delays Mining Rig Deliveries

Bitmain Announces New T19 Antminer
Bitmain Announces New T19 Antminer

Bitmain, the largest manufacturer of bitcoin mining rigs, has dealt with a great deal of conflict over the past few months. While the firm had postured that its conflicts wouldn’t affect its operations, it appears that these challenges have become unavoidable.

Problems Compiling

Yesterday, the Chinese mining giant announced that it would be delaying orders for its Antminer mining machines for June and July by at least two to three months. Citing “external interference on company operation,” the company confirmed that it would be processing these orders in September or October at the earliest.

This isn’t the only mishap that Bitmain is suffering so far. Last month, the company announced on its Antminer WeChat page that some of its employees had moved a thousand Antminer rigs from one of its facilities. According to the post, the machines include models from the S17 and T17 ranges and Bitmain’s flagship S9 mining rigs. 

The employees had moved the machines from a Mongolia facility in mid-July. The company’s post explained that some of the stolen rigs had belonged to clients who hosted their operations at the facility. 

A Public Power Struggle

Bitmain’s “external influence” jab is essentially the same form of corporate nomenclature that industry experts have known not to believe. Dovey Wan, a Chinese blockchain industry insider and head of investment firm Primitive Ventures, tweeted that it operations had been affected by the conflict between its two founders — Jihan Wu and Micree Ketuan Zhan.

The entire drama between the pair began in October 2019, when Wu announced in a company release that the board had agreed to relieve Zhan of his duties as the firm’s legal representative. Wan had indicated that it was a hostile takeover, and earlier in the year, he announced on social media that he would be dragging Wu and the firm to court.

The months following have included fights and public spats between the two parties. Zhan is the company’s largest shareholder, and he has been trying to reinstate himself as its official legal representative. On the other hand, Wu appears to be adamant in his mission to get him out of the company and sever all ties. It’s quite the fall from the two men who built the company into a multi-million-dollar mining behemoth.

At press time, the battle has gotten quite tense. Tech news source BlockBeats reported in June that Zhan had taken over Bitmain’s Beijing subsidiary. The subsidiary is one of Bitmain’s most profitable, and controlling it essentially reinstated Zhan as the company’s legal representative.

Zhan eventually sent an open letter to the company’s board, offering to buy out their shares in a deal worth about $4 billion. In his letter, the former CEO explained that he owned 36 percent of Bitmain, while Wu owned just 20 percent. Zhan added that he owned 60 percent of one of the company’s subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands. He eventually offered to buy out Wu and three other investors whose stake in the firm amounted to about 15 percent.

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Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.