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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

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Bitcoin (BTC) Price Bloodbath Continues as ‘Unsustainable’ BCH War Rages

Bitcoin price slides another 5% today as the civil war raging within Bitcoin Cash continues to impact cryptocurrency markets and altcoins taking hits topping 10 percent November 19.


Bitcoin Price Slides as Uncertainty Spreads

Data from Coinmarketcap showed a gloomy picture for altcoin investors at press time, the top twenty assets by market cap all in the red, pushing the entire cryptocurrency market cap down to under $175 billion USD, a yearly low. 

With no end in sight for the infighting between rival Bitcoin Cash factions, an attempt to reverse last week’s losses on Friday ended in defeat for both Bitcoin (BTC) 00 and altcoins, all major cryptocurrencies sustaining further drops after the weekend.

In the top twenty, those drops were led by Tezos (TEZ), which fell by close to 15 percent, followed Neo (NEO), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Tron (TRON), all of which lost more than 12 percent in 24 hours.

Ether (ETH) 00, still lagging behind Ripple’s XRP token in the market cap listings, also hemorrhaged value, knocking off another 11 percent to hit $157 – its lowest price since July 2017.

Bitcoin appeared to avert similar problems, circling support around $5,200 on the back of a $300 fall Monday.

Cohen Decries Bitcoin Cash ‘Shitshow’

Meanwhile, exchanges have begun issuing official statements on how they intend to handle the fallout from BCH’s controversial hard fork.

The picture is a complex one, with no clear preference among market participants for Bitcoin Cash ABC or Bitcoin Cash SV, while both chains continue to vie for hashing power.

US-based exchanges Kraken and Bittrex have opted to support SV, while ABC’s major proponent in the form of Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu has publicly stated he would sell his entire 1 million token allocation of SV holdings.

While the BCH token 00 continues to trade at a moderate loss, commentators are preparing for more volatile events as the situation continues to unfold.

Bram Cohen, the BitTorrent creator who has become a regular voice on the cryptocurrency market, forecast the Bitcoin Cash hashrate war could not continue indefinitely and described it as a “shitshow.”

“The current status of Bitcoin Cash is fairly clear, but it isn’t sustainable,” he wrote on Twitter.

“It’s split into two separate things, both of which have comparable hash rate to what the whole thing had previously[.]”

What do you think about Bitcoin Cash’s impact on markets? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, coin360.io

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Why the BCash Proxy War Could Be Very Bullish for Bitcoin Price

Despite Bitcoin Cash ABC looking like it will win the BCash civil war with notable support from  John McAfee and Bitstamp, the ugliness of the sideshow could actually have a bullish impact on Bitcoin (BTC) price. 


Pledge of Allegiance

Yesterday, John McAfee came across as if he had just binge-watched several ‘Game of Thrones’ box-sets as he pledged his allegiance to Jihan Wu and Roger Ver’s vision for Bitcoin Cash (BCash).

John McAfee Binance

His Tweet proclaimed, “I will not let my ego destroy me by making me think I could challenge the only real power in this space.” Still, that was just the hors-d’oeuvre. Attached to the Tweet was a screenshot of an email from McAfee to Wu. It contained the following:

I see you are going to war. I am the oldest warrior still standing on the battlefield… if I can serve you, you have my sword and my loyalty.

The main protagonist in this war would be Craig Wright pushing ‘Satoshi’s Vision’ of Bitcoin with his Bitcoin Cash SV fork. Needless to say, Wright did took this latest development in stride.

Dubbing McAfee ‘McFee’ (a reference to paid ICO endorsements), he accused him of being a conman and a scammer.

Bitcoin Cash ABC is Winning

Luckily for Bitcoin Cash ABC, one of the oldest exchanges in the industry, has also openly announced its support for Bitcoin Cash ABC. On the company’s web page it states that:

We will only support Bitcoin ABC during the fork… Initially, we will not support any alternative chains, but will monitor the situation…

Now, Bitcoin Cash ABC appears to be winning and is over 50 blocks ahead at press time, according to data from Coin.dance.

In addition, other versions like Bitcoin Unlimited and Craig Wright’s Bitcoin SV appear to not be mining blocks at this time. This also implies that three new coins could emerge if these other chains survive.

Meanwhile, Binance announced that it will not only support trading of these potential new tokens but will also retain the tickers of BCHABC and BCASV.

History Rhymes

So what does this Bitcoin Cash squabble have to do with Bitcoin? Well, touting itself as the ‘real’ Bitcoin, the Bitcoin Cash (or BCash) that prides itself on cheap, reliable and quick transactions has been anything but.

With even Dogecoin beating it at its own game, this latest ‘upgrade’ could prove to be the nail in the coffin for “Satoshi’s Vision” as the network has been unusable for the past few days. It may also force the Bitcoin Cash community to rethink their policy of scheduled hard-fork upgrade and address mining centralization.

In other words, there will be less confusion (if there is still any) about which is the ‘real’ Bitcoin, at least according to Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao.

As of today, Bitcoin Cash price 00 has erased it’s pre-fork gains and is currently trading at the lowest price against BTC since October 2017.

Interestingly, one of the events that possibly served as last year’s catalysts was a Bitcoin Cash ‘upgrade’ that removed EDA (estimated difficulty adjustment), which was not only destabilizing the BCH network, but also affecting  Bitcoin’s hash rate.

Bitcoinist Bitcoin SV Hashpower

Worthy to keep in mind is that Bitcoin (BTC) price 00 was hovering at around these levels exactly a year ago as it began its historic bull-run.

Thus, last year’s ‘upgrade’ that occurred on November 13th, 2017, not only stabilized BCH but also sent the BTC hash rate to record highs as it more profitable to this day to mine bitcoin. This saw BTC price go to $10,000 by the end of the month.

Will this year be any similar? Much like last year, which saw recognition by Wall Street with the launch of Bitcoin futures in December, there are plenty of events on the horizon that could reverse the market in an instant.

Undoubtedly, all eyes will be on the launch of Bakkt next month as the next potential spark that could wake up Bitcoin price.

What are your thoughts on BCash ABC, as well as McAfee’s take? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Twitter (@realmcafee).

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Bitcoin Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Cash Civil War Drives BTC to a 1-Year Low

Holy mackerel! Out of the blue, Bitcoin dropped to a new 12-month low with little notice. Anyone hoping for a Santa Claus rally had better drop to their knees and start the Hail Marys.


Market Overview

Today Bitcoin (BTC) 00 got nuked. In fact, the entire cryptocurrency market took a direct hit from a 50 megaton hydrogen bomb — and it looks like it’ll take a while for the smoke to clear. Novogratz was wrong, Tom Lee was wrong, everyone who thought $6,000 was the bottom was wrong. Analysts will probably spend the rest of the week attempting to determine the sources responsible for the turmoil.

Currently, the most digestible explanations suggest that the current sell-off was kicked off by a combination of $6,000 representing a stop loss trigger, as well as the current Bitcoin Cash hard fork exerting pressure on an already fragile Bitcoin price.

Today’s sharp correction took Bitcoin to a 12-month low and the market cap has now dropped below $100 billion for the first time since November 2017. The total cryptocurrency market cap also dropped below $200 million for the first time this year.

Weekly Chart

The weekly chart broke bearish after a lengthy series of sideways trading. Any oversold bounce under $6,540 is just a lower high, meaning a nearly 15% bounce is needed to restore BTC 00 back to where it was yesterday. Fairly unlikely given the last 4 – 6 months of trading. Although, as mentioned yesterday with the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork, ANYTHING could happen.

The MACD made a bearish cross, and the RSI has also broken from its persistent flatline and now dips toward oversold territory. A number of investors and analysts are attributing the current volatility to the BCH fork — but it should be noted that Bitcoin frequently dipped below $6,200 and $6,100 and BTC’s inability to overcome overhead resistances highlights an underlying weakness. So while surprising, today’s dip below $6,000 seemed inevitable.

$4,500 and $3,000 are the next supports to watch and the market and its multitude of analysts will decide which prices in between this range will function as psychological supports and resistances.

4-Hour Chart

There’s not too much to say here that hasn’t already been said. The lack of resistances below the $6,200 – $6,100 zone allowed BTC to drop like a blade through butter, and BTC price is now lower than it was on November 12 of 2017.

Traders might think twice about playing oversold bounces as bears are clearly in control and the current downtrend is still young. The RSI, Stoch, and MACD could easily become extremely oversold and given that a family feud over BCH might be fuelling the entire market downturn, analysis of charts may provide limited value for time being.

The wisest thing to do might be to watch from the sidelines and enjoy the free BCH-SV coins that will be earned by BCH holders. Alternatively, savvier traders might take note of the spread between USD and stablecoin (USDT, Paxos, TrueUSD) or the $300 Bitcoin 00 premium that exists between Bitfinex and Coinbase.

Bon Arbitrage, Mes Amis!  

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice. Market data is provided by Bitfinex. The charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.]

Why do you think Bitcoin dropped 15%? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Trading View. Market data sourced from Bitfinex.

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Is Bitmain Losing Its Edge in the Crypto Mining Game? These Analysts Think So

According to analysts, the largest producer of Bitcoin mining equipment may be losing its position at the top of the industry.

Bitmain Threatened on Multiple Fronts

Despite moving to launch an initial public offering (IPO), competition, dubious speculation on certain digital assets, and lessening demand for hardware are undermining Bitmain’s dominance.

Analysts at the investment management firm Sanford C Berstein & Co. believe that Bitmain may be close to being usurped as the largest name in the cryptocurrency hardware production industry. Amongst other observations, a report into the Beijing-based company published today states that the co-founder of Bitmain, Jihan Wu, should be keeping a careful eye on his firm’s inventory.

The document produced by a group of analysts led by Mark Li was reported in the South China Morning Post. It goes on to note that other hardware manufacturers are currently catching up in terms of ability to produce chips that rival those of Bitmain. They wrote:

“The competitiveness of Bitmain’s chips is in question.”

The report also states that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) should consider requesting full advanced payments and be wary of increasing production solely for demand generated by cryptocurrency mining.

In addition to the offerings from Bitmain’s competition getting more advanced, the entire industry is facing a reduction in demand for cryptocurrency hardware in response to declining prices of cryptocurrencies.

Despite potentially fading fortunes, the cryptocurrency mining giant plans to hold an IPO that seeks to raise as much as $18 billion. This would make it one of the largest in history. However, the likes of Canaan, who produce DragonMint miners and Ebang International Holdings are not only increasing the sophistication of their own mining chips, but are similarly planning to hold IPOs in Hong Kong.

There are growing concerns about the Bitmain IPO too.  Speculation is mounting amongst cryptocurrency circles that Bitmain is holding a huge number of Bitcoin Cash on their books. The amount is thought to be so great that there is no way for the company to offload the coins without severely crashing the market. Respected cryptocurrency expert Samson Mow stated:

However, the implications of such a crash could be disastrous for any investors hoping to get involved with the Bitmain IPO. Samson Mow explained in a follow up tweet:

“The Bitmain IPO is incredibly risky for any investor to buy into. The potential for massive losses is just around the corner as they have no idea how to maintain BCH, but are all-in. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

On top of all this, large firms thought to be investing in the forthcoming IPO have denied any involvement in it whatsoever. Tencent and SoftBank Group officially stated their lack of interest in the opportunity at the weekend. According to reports, Bitmain have also reduced their projected yearly revenue forecasts down to $3 billion from $8 billion.

All that said, such a weakening of the dominant company supplying mining hardware and hashing power to the Bitcoin network can only be good for its overall decentralisation.

Featured image from Shutterstock.