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Bitmain Says It Won’t Give Up on World’s Biggest Cryptocurrency IPO

Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain has officially announced its new CEO and says it will restart the IPO listing process sometime in the future. The company endured a difficult 2018 with administrative upheavals, staff layoffs, and significant losses.


Bitcoin Mining Giant Gets New CEO

In the latter part of 2018, Bitmain laid off a couple of departments amid reports of financial difficulties. In a blog post published on Tuesday (March 26, 2019), the company explained the decisions taken as part of its efforts to align its business model.

An excerpt from the statement reads:

It was a difficult but necessary decision as we continue to build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business. We did our best to compensate our employees above the legal requirement.

Bitmain also made some changes to its leadership structure with Haichao Wang, the former Engineering chief appointed as the new CEO. Co-founders Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan remain directors of the company and continue to have a say in “big decisions.”

Bitmain Will Restart IPO Listing Process

As reported by Bitcoinist on Monday, the Bitmain IPO application at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) expired after six months. According to the company, regulators and other mainstream stakeholders aren’t yet sold to the immense potential of the emerging cryptocurrency industry.

In the meantime, Bitmain says it will restart the application at some time in the future. Despite the failure of its first IPO application, the company said the process did deliver some positives for the company especially in the area of financial transparency.

Concerning transparency, Bitmain is yet to publish its financials for the second half of 2018. Speculation is rife with reports of huge losses for Q3 2018 of about $740 million.

Any attempt to refile another IPO application will see the company being forced to publish its financial report for Q3 and maybe even Q4 2018 depending on the reporting period stipulated by the stock exchange operator.

Bitmain Will Focus on Innovation and AI

Bitmain also revealed that its focus for 2019 will be on streamlining its business process to focus on innovation in both the cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence (AI) market.

Back in February 2019, Bitcoinist reported on the company’s new 7-nm chip touted to deliver more efficient Bitcoin mining. On paper, the new chip will offer about a 28.6 percent improvement in power efficiency, compared to previous iterations of the company’s 7-nm chip.

For innovation in the AI scene, the blog post also mentions agreements already inked with important stakeholders across China. Bitmain says it plans to lead the way in terms of cutting-edge innovation for neural processors.

What do you make of Bitmain’s stated goals for 2019 after the difficulties experienced in 2018? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


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The Rundown

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Bitmain Replaces CEO Jihan Wu After Bitcoin Cash Gamble Fails

Inside sources say that Bitmain Technologies plans to name a replacement CEO to take over from co-founders Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan.


New Bitmain CEO

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the Bitcoin mining behemoth is looking to name a new CEO to replace the company’s co-founders. Anonymous sources say, Haichao Wang, the current Engineering Director is the front-runner for the job.

Jihan Wu

While there is no official word from Bitmain, these sources say the company entered a leadership transition period in December 2018.

Back in November 2018, Bitcoinist reported Wu’s demotion from director to a supervisor. Also, in late December 2018, reports broke out in Chinese media of the imminent resignation of both Wu and Zhan.

There is also no definite timetable for the completion of the leadership reshuffle. Sources indicate that both Wu and Zhan will become co-chairs of the company. The new CEO will handle the daily administration of the firm while the pair will still have the final say on big decisions.

According to SCMP sources, both Wu and Zhan had disagreements as co-CEO. Wu, in particular, has come under intense criticism for the company’s bet on Bitcoin Cash. Zhan, on the other hand, has led Bitmain’s diversification efforts, especially into the artificial intelligence arena.

Turning the Tide

If the reports are accurate and Bitmain does get a new CEO, a daunting task awaits the selected individual. After a stellar 2017 and a promising start to 2018, the second half of the year appeared to fizzle out for the Bitcoin mining behemoth.

Bitmain is yet to release its Q3 2018 financial report, but speculation is rife of losses north of $740 million. A lot of the financial trouble stems from inventory losses, as well as the expensive Bitcoin Cash hash war of November 2018.

Recently, the company even began laying off a significant portion of its workforce. In December 2018, Bitmain fired its R&D department based in Israel. This move was followed by another massive downsizing, nixing the company’s Bitcoin Cash development team.

The company’s IPO plan is also another casualty of the financial turmoil within the company. Despite announcing plans for an IPO listing in Hong Kong earlier in 2018, all signs point to such plans being unfeasible, for the present time, at least.

Will a new CEO be able to steer Bitmain in a better direction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock