An announcement by the Bitmain team claims that 10,000 Antminers have been stolen from a subsidiary of Bitmain. According to the report, the mining rigs disappeared from a mining facility located in Inner Mongolia. Maker Cloud Computing Co. Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Bitmain, runs the facility.
The alleged theft of the mining rigs is another twist to the ongoing leadership feud at Bitmain. To date, Bitmain is a leader in the ASIC mining rigs manufacturing sector. However, Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu have been engaged in a protracted struggle for control of the company. The struggle led to the ouster of Zhan, which Zhan maintains was an illegal move.
The announcement states that 10,000 Antminers were illegally transferred from the mining facility in Inner Mongolia. In the report, the exact model of the stolen mining rigs was not provided. However, miners such as the T15, S17, and a prototype being developed by Bitmain have been reported missing.
The last reported quarrel between Zhan and Wu was about Zhan preventing the delivery of mining rigs from their Shenzhen factory. According to a local media report, Wu sent an internal letter explaining that those allied to Zhan were behind the transfer of the mining rigs.
Rough estimates place the value of the missing mining rigs at around $10 million. While Wu claims that Zhan’s allies were behind the missing mining rigs, Zhan accused Wu of being behind the transfer via the Bitmain Weibo account.
Continuing Wrangles at Bitmain
Bitmain has been engaged in numerous wrangles in the recent past. For instance, Bitmaintech Pte, its Singapore unit, has made numerous trademark filings for the Antminer name. The company also filed a lawsuit against ex-staffers in June last year. In their lawsuit, the company claims that the employees were bound by a non-compete clause.
If not resolved, the feuds could eventually topple Bitmain as a leader in the mining rigs manufacturing sector. Recently, Ebang filed for a US IPO while MicroBT has been gradually eating up the market share. At some point, the crypto community thought the feud would be solved after a leaked negotiation deal between Zhan and Wu indicated the two were trying to reach a compromise. However, nothing has materialized since then.
Besides that, there are reports that Bitmain Technologies has issues with several executives from Canaan. As part of the ongoing struggle for control, four Bitmain executives were removed from the company registry.
The continued wrangles in Bitmain have thus far not had any effect on the research and development of Antminers, which are some of the most powerful mining rigs in the crypto world. However, the effects of these leadership fights will most likely be felt in the future.
As the struggles continue, various other companies are making advances in the mining rig sector. It is thus unlikely that even if Bitmain were to leave the stage, the crypto mining sector would be affected.
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