The world’s largest cryptocurrency mining equipment maker, Bitmain was founded in 2013 by Wu Jihan, known for translating Satoshi Nakamoto’s seminal whitepaper on Bitcoin into Chinese. The company specialises in the design of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and hardware for crypto mining. Under the Antminer brand, its rigs have controlled as much as 75% of the global market and the company also operates the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining pools, Antpool.com and BTC.com, which account for about a quarter of the Bitcoin network’s computing power between them.
Bitmain’s financial health has tracked Bitcoin prices. During a previous bull run in 2018, Bitmain recorded 937% year-on-year growth in revenue, see here. But Bitmain hasn’t surfed the wave of Bitcoin’s record-breaking surge in early 2021 in quite the same way, after management infighting over whether to take the company more directly into the realm of artificial intelligence. The disagreement reportedly derailed a plan to go public in 2019 and the rise of domestic rival MicroBT, which has designed a powerful mining rig under the Whatsminer brand, has also chipped away at Bitmain’s dominance in the crypto space.
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