Bitmain’s Antminer says Bitcoin rig sales won’t be affected by CEO departure

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After corporate infighting temporarily halted chip shipments in 2020, Bitmain’s Antminer team says business will resume as normal following former CEO Jihan Wu’s departure.

Bitcoin (BTC) mining rig manufacturer Bitmain has issued a notice to customers stating that business operations will resume as normal in light of former chairman and CEO Jihan Wu’s departure from the company.

Orders of Bitmain’s ASIC mining rigs were previously halted temporarily in 2020 during an internal power struggle at the Beijing-based hardware company.

In a dramatic saga that saw Bitmain’s two co-founders, Micree Zhan and Wu, attempt to oust one another from the leadership of the company, Zhan temporarily stopped a Shenzen subsidiary from shipping products to customers, as reported by local outlet The Block Beats at the time.

On Wednesday, hours after Wu amicably left the company (after buying $600 million worth of shares from Zhan and other shareholders), the team behind Bitmain’s flagship Antminer product released a statement telling customers to expect business as normal:

“Antminer is here to inform you that product delivery and sales services will not be affected by Bitmain’s internal changes. Our sales policy for customers remains unchanged, and all signed contracts will continue to perform in accordance with the terms and conditions.”

Bitmain was founded in 2013 by Zhan and Wu, and by 2018, it had become the largest manufacturer of ASIC machines for Bitcoin mining in the world. The company also runs two mining pools, Antpool and BTC.com, which collectively account for around 20% of all Bitcoin mining and 30% of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) mining.

The company’s influence has seen it at the forefront of several Bitcoin-related dramas over the years, not least during the 2017 hard fork that saw Bitcoin Cash break away from Bitcoin. Bitmain sided with Bitcoin Cash during the hard fork, which arose as a result of ideological disagreements over aspects of Bitcoin’s design — specifically, the size of blocks.

Despite uncertainty regarding the leadership of the company, Bitmain secured a contract for 15,000 of its Antminer S19 series machines from Riot Blockchain, a Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency mining firm, in December 2020 in a deal worth $35 million.

Concerns about stockpiles of unsold merchandise may have been silenced somewhat over the New Year period as Bitcoin mining profitability increased by over 330%, according to the latest data from BitInfoCharts.

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