Ketuan “Micree” Zhan Ousted to “Save the Ship” of Bitmain
One of the co-founders of Bitmain is no longer guiding the company, following a recent message from Jihan Wu.
Bitmain just saw a reshuffle at the top, as Chinese media reported the removal of company director Ketuan “Micree” Zhan. Jihan Wu, co-founder of the company and former CEO, reportedly circulated an email to announce Ketuan Zhan was no longer in charge of decision-making for Bitmain.
The removal of Ketuan Zhan mystified crypto social media, as Jihan Wu did not seem to have the singular power for such decisions. It is possible the decision was made by the board, or investors, and was only enforced by Jihan Wu.
Samson Mow, Bitcoin proponent, commented on the mystifying ousting, which was illogical since Ketuan Zhan is still a large shareholder of Bitmain Beijing.
The events at Bitmain are still unfolding, and the exact reason for the changes are unknown. Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan were moved to less important roles in the company, becoming non-executive directors in the fall of 2018, when Bitmain posted disappointing financials and failed to launch the much-awaited IPO.
Now, Bitmain seems to be in better shape, with upcoming shipments of the S17 series of miners. However, the email circulated by Jihan Wu reportedly held strong enough language, suggesting the move was needed to “save the ship”. Dovey Wan, co-founder of PrimitiveCrypto, commented on the harsh wording of Jihan Wu’s email.
Bitmain continues to participate in mining Bitcoin, as well as Bitcoin Cash (BCH). However, the share of blocks discovered by Antpool has fallen to around 7%, from usual levels above 14%. Other pools took over, especially after the ascent of Slush Pool and Poolin. At the same time, Bitmain announced its intentions to open a large-scale mining facility in Texas.
Despite the relatively bad shape of Bitmain, the industry is picking up. The Bitcoin hashrate stepped back a bit from its peak levels, and is at 86 EH/s. And now, instead of Bitmain, Canaan Mining is planning an IPO for $400 million, and has opened up the process to be listed on US exchanges.