Bitmain

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Bitmain Technologies, Ltd.
Bitmain logo.png
Founded 2013
Headquarters Beijing, China
Key People Wang Haichao, CEO: Jihan Wu, ex-CEO, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Strategic Development; Micree Zhan, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Strategic Development
Products Mining hardware and mining pools
Twitter @BITMAINtech
Facebook @Bitmain
Website Bitmain Homepage
Releases Company News
Blog Bitmain Blog

Bitmain Technologies, Ltd., founded in 2013, is a privately held company based in Beijing, China, with offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Qingdao, Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen.[1] In January 2018 Reuters reported that Bitmain was opening an office in the Swiss "Crypto Valley" town of Zug.[2]

Overview

Bitmain is the world's largest producer of specialized bitcoin mining hardware. The company develops and sells these specialized machines using its application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip technology, including a line of proprietary mining machines called Antminers. Additionally, Bitmain mines on its own behalf and operates at least two mining pools, BTC.com and AntPool. According to published reports, these two pools alone can account for almost 42% of all bitcoin mined worldwide in a week. Each pool can also mine about 10% of the total Bitcoin Cash mined in a week. In light of the fact that both of those cryptocurrencies use the same algorithm, Bitmain might have a dominant position in bitcoin if it turned all of its efforts to mining bitcoin alone, without Bitcoin Cash.[3]

The company confirmed rumors in a March 26, 2019, blog post that Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan had stepped down from their roles as joint-CEOs, but that they would continue to work with the company as directors. The post said that company insider Haichao Wang had taken over as CEO.[4][5] In October 2019, news services reported that Wu had taken on the role of Chairman again and that Zhan had left the company in an acrimonious split.[6]

IPO

Bitmain announced in August 2018 that it had begun the process of filing an initial public offering (IPO) valued at up to $18 billion, which would make it one of the largest IPOs ever.[7][8] Caixin, a Chinese news agency, reported on July 6, 2018 that Bitmain had raised additional funds of between $300 million and $400 million in a funding round that valued Bitmain at about $12 billion.[9] Bitmain did not announce the participants in this pre-IPO funding round, and a number of the rumored participants, including SoftBank Group and Tencent, publicly denied having made investments.[10]

On September 26, 2018, Bitmain published a draft of the locally required "application proof" (prospectus) for issuing shares on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK), which presented a comprehensive look into the company across its 438 pages. Among the figures Bitmain reported, the company stated that it had had revenues of more than $2.8 billion in the first half of 2018. 94.3 percent of those revenues derived from its sales of mining hardware and 3.3 percent from its proprietary mining activities. Its profit before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was $1.1 during the six-month period. The number of shares in the company was redacted from the application proof.[11]

In mid-December 2018, media reported that the SEHK had signaled that it was reluctant to approve Bitmain's listing due to Hong Kong regulators' concerns about the immaturity of the cryptocurrency industry.[12]

Bitmain's IPO application expired in March 2019. The company said on a blog post that it would restart the listing application work, though it did not say when.[13][14]

In June 2019, Bloomberg published a story saying that Bitmain was in the process of preparing for a new IPO in the United States, according to people with knowledge of the matter.[15]

Bitcoin Cash ABC Lawsuit

In December 2018, American telecommunications firm United American Corporation (UAC) sued Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, as well as Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, Roger Ver, and key Bitcoin ABC developers.[16][17] The United American Corporation lawsuit alleged that Ver and the others manipulated the cryptocurrency market by making Bitcoin Cash too "centralized," allowing them to unjustly enrich themselves by that conduct.[18] In addition to accepting Bitcoin Cash as payment for hardware, Bitmain produces hardware that is used for mining Bitcoin Cash, mines Bitcoin Cash for its own account, and operates and shares in pools that mine Bitcoin Cash. Bitmain carries significant amounts of Bitcoin Cash on its balance sheet as cash.[19]

Crypto Winter

On December 10, 2018, Bitmain confirmed to Coindesk that it was closing its 23 person operation in Israel, which was working on blockchain and artificial intelligence technology for the company, ostensibly to save money.[20] Later that month, Coindesk reported that a Bitmain employee had confirmed to it that the company had begun employee layoffs.[21]

In January 2019, the company announced it would be closing its Amsterdam office as well.[22]

Bitmain reportedly provided the SEHK with third quarter 2018 financial results, indicating a loss that period of about $500 million with revenues of about $200 million. Approximately $100 million of the losses were attributed to the decline in the value of its extensive cryptocurrency holdings.[23]

In March 2019, Bitmain began deploying 200,000 units of mining machines from its inventory in southwestern China. The goal of this was to take advantage of excessive rains in the region, which caused the price of hydroelectric power to go down. Sources close to the matter said that this would cost Bitmain at least $80 million, and the projected profit from mining at reduced operational costs would be roughly $7-8 million per month, as long as the price of hydro-powered electricity stayed low.[24]

World Digital Mining Map

On September 27, 2019, Bitmain announced a new service called the World Digital Mining Map to help bitcoin farms attract miners. Bitmain publicizes farms' offerings and will advise miners on design and operations.[25]

U.S. Bitcoin Farms

Bitmain announced on October 21, 2019 that it had launched the first phase of its Rockdale, Texas, farm for bitcoin miners. Planned to be the largest farm in the world if expanded to its full potential size, the 25 megawatt operation is currently being expanded to 50 megawatt capacity. DMG, a diversified blockchain firm which operates farms throughout North America, provides hosting and management services at the location.[26]

Key People

  • Jihan Wu - Co-founder
  • Micree Zhan - Co-founder
  • Wang Haichao - CEO

References

  1. About Bitmain. Bitmain Technologies.
  2. Chinese bitcoin mining giant sets up Swiss subsidiary. Reuters.
  3. Bitmain Dominates Bitcoin Mining, Approaching 51%. Finance Magnates.
  4. Bitmain’s IPO application expires; company appoints new CEO. The Block.
  5. 2019’s Focus is on Customers. Bitmain.
  6. Bitmain’s exiled founder returns in coup. Financial Times.
  7. Crypto Unicorn Bitmain Weighs $18 Billion IPO, One of World's Largest. Coindesk.
  8. Chinese Bitcoin Mining Chip Maker Bitmain Considers IPO. China Money Network.
  9. Mining Giant Bitmain Valued at $12 Billion in New Funding Round. Coindesk.
  10. Big Investors Deny Involvement In Crypto Miner Bitmain's Pre-IPO Funding. Coindesk.
  11. Application Proof of BitMain Technologies Holding Company. Hong Kong Exchange.
  12. Hong Kong regulators say IPOs by cryptocurrency businesses are premature, putting Bitmain’s US$3 billion fundraising plan in peril. South China Morning Post.
  13. Bitmain’s IPO application expires; company appoints new CEO. The Block.
  14. 2019’s Focus is on Customers. Bitmain.
  15. Bitmain Revives IPO Plan as Bitcoin Hits One-Year High. Bloomberg.
  16. Roger Ver, Bitmain Sued for BCH Hard Fork ‘Manipulation’. Finance Magnates.
  17. Mining Firm Sues Roger Ver, Bitmain and More for ‘Hijacking’ Bitcoin Cash. Coindesk.
  18. Case 1:18-cv-25106-XXXX Document 1. United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
  19. Application Proof of BitMain Technologies Holding Company. Hong Stock Exchange.
  20. Bitmain Closes Israel Development Arm Citing Crypto Bear Market. Coindesk.
  21. Bitmain Poised to Appoint Tech Chief as New CEO, Says Report. Coindesk.
  22. Chinese Mining Giant Bitmain Is Closing Another Overseas Office. Coindesk.
  23. Mining Giant Bitmain Posts $500 Million Loss in IPO Financial Filing. CoinDesk.
  24. Bitmain Reportedly Plans to Install 200,000 Crypto Miners in China. Finance Magnates.
  25. Crypto Giant Bitmain Is Setting Up a Miner Matchmaking Service. Bloomberg.
  26. Bitmain fulfils commitment to Rockdale, Texas, with launch of cryptocurrency mining farm to construct 50MW facility. Bitmain.