Bitmain Conflict Ends as Jihan Wu Steps Down

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  • The conflict at the heart of Bitmain has been resolved after Jihan Wu left the company he co-founded
  • Wu and co-founder Micree Zhan had been at loggerheads over who owned the company
  • Reports suggest that Zhan has bought out Wu, who has stepped down as CEO

The almost two-year old feud between Bitmain co-founders Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu has finally come to an end after Wu agreed to step down from his role as CEO and Chairman, leaving Zhan in control of the company. The long running saga, which escalated to the point of a private army being hired to force access to the Bitmain offices, has ended more amicably with Zhan reportedly buying out Wu’s share of the company they founded in 2013.

Bitmain Battle After Terrible 2018

The battle for supremacy at Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain started in 2018 when, amid financial troubles and increasing competition, Jihan Wu stepped down from his position as CEO. This left Zhan to oversee a terrible 2018 when the company’s fortunes went from bad to worse, abandoning its IPO and enduring further losses, both financially and in terms of hashrate.

Wu dramatically returned in October 2019, essentially attempting a coup when Zhan was abroad at a conference in London. Zhan was essentially ousted from his position by Wu, who refused him entry back into the offices. The bitter war of words escalated to a physical altercation when Zhan employed a private army to get him back into the Bitmain offices in Beijing.

Tensions Thaw in 2021

Accusations of theft of intellectual property and business certifications followed the office raid, and 2020 ended with the pair no closer to resolving the conflict and the company in a state of confusion over who controlled it. However, it seems that 2021 has seen a thawing of the frosty relationship as the pair have worked towards a resolution in the best interest of Bitmain.

Wu Blockchain published the unencrypted statement from Wu, in which he revealed that the drama had ended in a constructive manner:

The disagreement between Micree and myself, the two co-founders of Bitmain, has finally been settled in an amicable and, more importantly, constructive manner. I have resigned from the CEO and Chairman of Bitmain as of today.

Other reports suggest that Zhan has bought out Wu’s share in Bitmain using funds borrowed from outside sources.

The settlement brings to an end one of the more unsavoury episodes of cryptocurrency history, which has dragged one of the first Bitcoin mining proponents through the mud. Hopefully they can now focus on doing what they do best – making some of the best Bitcoin mining machines in the world.