Bitcoin Giant Bitmain Comes Out Of The Closet, Reveals Crypto Shakeup
Since its establishment in 2013, Bitmain has been an integral facet of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Its mining products, the feared and adored ASICs, have become a staple in mining farms, especially those centered around Bitcoin. Yet, as the market began to tumble in 2018, Bitmain’s grasp in the ecosystem slipped. Its rumored $15 billion+ valuation was lost to the ether, it purportedly cut hundreds of employees, and its co-CEO, Jihan Wu, fell entirely silently.
Throughout all this, the company remained relatively silent, failing to issue an in-depth update to appease its investors, miners, and other stakeholders. But at long last, Bitmain published a company update on Tuesday. While there were no promises for success, the focus was clear: customers. After all, the official blog post was titled “2019’s Focus is on Customers.”
Getting Back On Its Feet: New Bitcoin Miners, AI Focus, Fresh Leadership
Bitmain first addressed 2018’s debacle, calling it a “significant change” and, surprisingly enough, “growth for the business.” The shortcomings were “important,” the company wrote, adding that it “enabled” it to help the vision of creating the Internet of Money, a byproduct of widespread cryptocurrency adoption. The Beijing-headquartered firm was hesitant to directly address certain scenarios, like the rumored layoffs (it called that an “adjustment to our personnel”), ASIC overstock, C-suite shuffle, among other imbroglios, but it was claimed that 2019 will be the year for it to “double-down on innovating and serving customers.”
The company’s PR team writes that it has realigned its focus on crypto mining and artificial intelligence (AI), as Bitmain intends to build a “long-term, sustainable and scalable business.” According to the write-up, this means it has “established clear business divisions” and integrated the proper resource lines for its refreshed branches, which are relatively lean and essential to Bitmain’s success and its path on the road to glory. With AI seemingly become an integral facet of the technology world, there’s a likelihood Bitmain can become not just known as a Bitcoin miner manufacturer, but as a key facet of the road to AI too.
And with all this, Bitmain has appointed a new CEO, Haichao Wang, who has been an executive at the company for a number of years now. With this move, Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu, the former co-CEOs will become directors, who will “guide the company’s strategic development.” This is only part of its restructuring efforts though.
Bitmain recently unveiled its latest flagship product — the 7nm-based BM1397 — which will be higher performing, smaller, and more energy efficient in mining cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, in comparison to its predecessors. This chipset has already been integrated into the Antminers S17 and T17.
AI-wise, the firm has signed an agreement with Chinese governmental bodies and local firms to “roll out different generations of neural processors. And lastly, it will purportedly “continue to fund open-source developers, projects and organizations,” much like Jack Dorsey.
Bitmain’s IPO Goes Bust
All this comes as Bitmain’s listing to go live on Hong Kong’s stock exchange (HKEX) has expired… ouch. Per an update, to the exchange’s website, the proposal from the company has been deemed “lapsed,” meaning that it was neither withdrawn nor rejected. Unlike the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), an entity like the HKEX is not mandated to issue a verdict on each and every proposal. So now, Bitmain’s ambitions to become a public company to secure more funding have gone bust.
But, in the aforementioned announcement, it was written:
“We will restart the listing application work at an appropriate time in the future. In the meantime, the listing process has made the company more transparent and standardized. The process of rationalization and optimization has made our business more focused on the things that are core to our mission.”
Matrix Crypto Startup
While Bitmain is looking to put its best foot forward, the company has still bled from its sides, losing many of its staffers due to financial qualms. As reported by BlockGeeks on an earlier date, members of the firm’s Bitcoin Cash division and other branches recently coalesced to form a new crypto-centric firm, Matrix. This newfangled firm will purportedly offer institutional-centric products, like custody, over-the-counter trading, and lending. Sources tell CoinDesk that Yuesheng Ge, a major shareholder of Bitmain, will partake in Matrix. Yuesheng may even become the startup’s chief executive for the time being.
There haven’t been any updates on how Matrix is faring. But BlockGeeks will be sure to update you if the need arises.
Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash