Jihan Wu took over as the legal representative of Bitmain in China, after ousting the company’s co-founder Ketuan “Micree” Zhan in a dramatic email sent out this Tuesday. The role taken by Jihan Wu is instrumental, as he is the de facto face of Bitmain in China.
Dovey Wan, co-founder of Primitive Crypto, commented on the Bitmain case, suggesting that the shuffle in leadership may hurt the company’s reputation. The shift in leadership was dramatic, banning Ketuan Zhan from visiting the offices and explicitly warning employees not to communicate with him, or follow his orders.
The news arrived at a time when Bitmain has been preparing an IPO in the USA. BTCKING555, one of the Twitter personalities tracking the Bitmain efforts to present an IPO, suggested that Ketuan Zhan may have been against the IPO. In the past days, it became known that Bitmain may have harnessed the services of Deutsche Bank to attempt a public listing on the US market, based on a recent report from Tencent News.
In the past, Bitmain has promised an IPO with a valuation as high as $18 billion, and during that time also managed to gain significant private rounds. Still, Bitmain is yet to present its prospectus and the potential financial results for the past months. While the Bitcoin hashrate has grown, this is not a direct indicator of the sales coming from Bitmain.
In the meantime, the share of Antpool has fallen to around 11% of blocks discovered, with the growth of alternative pools. One of Bitmain’s competitors, Canaan Mining, may also be ready with its IPO in the US.
At this point, it is difficult to estimate the effect of Bitmain on the Bitcoin network. A new strain of FUD has appeared, suggesting China may go as far as to nationalize Bitmain, thus taking over the Bitcoin network. However, there is no official evidence for the worrisome message.