Jihan Wu, the co-founder of Bitmain, a large Bitcoin mining rig producer, has reportedly been bought out of the company by his co-founder, Micree Zhan, for $600 million. The agreement settles an ugly, year-long dispute between the founders.
Wu Blockchain, a prominent Chinese crypto blogger, reported that Sequoia China mediated the settlement and that shareholders approved it on December 28. It reportedly states that Zhan will collateralize his shares for $600 million to purchase Wu’s share.
Post-settlement, Wu will leave Bitmain but retain full control over several large international mining farms, including BTC.com and bitdeer. All other services, including mining rigs, artificial intelligence, antpool, and domestic mining pools belong to Zhan.
The settlement reinstates Zhan, whom Wu had ousted from the company in November 2019.
After Wu took control of the steering wheel, the two engaged in multiple legal—and literal—fights. The year-long, crypto TV drama cost the business millions of dollars when Zhan halted the shipment of Bitmain mining rigs in retaliation to Wu’s coup.
The biggest beneficiary of the settlement would be Bitmain’s investors; Zhan promised that under his leadership, Bitmain will complete its IPO by the end of 2022. That will be a handsome exit for its investors, such as Sequoia.
Many have speculated as to why Wu has left the company, which he has built with sweat and blood since 2013. Some suggest that he will return to Matrixport, a company he founded in 2018 that provides financial services to Bitcoin miners. Others suggest that he will become a crypto venture capitalist.
As Bitcoin’s price surges to new highs every other day, things are looking good for Bitmain. However, it’s unclear whether Bitmain will be able to maintain its primacy in the event that the Bitcoin market crashes.