Founder of Bitmain Rival is Charged With Embezzlement Crime, Procuratorial Organ Confirms

Zuoxing Yang, who is now CEO of Bitmain’s rival MicroBT, has been taken into custody, China procuratorial organ’s website confirms. Procuratorate of Nanshan District, Shenzhen city has approved the arrest of the suspect Yang with the crime of Job occupation. At present, the case is under further processing, according to Caixin reported.

Yang was formerly processor design director at Bitmain, responsible for developing the firm’s flagship AntMiner S7 and S9 models around 2016. However, he left the company and raised over $20 million to found MicroBT – which produces the WhatsMiner range of mining devices – after discussions with Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu for stock options fell through. MicroBT is considered by some as the most efficient hardware manufacturer and the most competitive challenger of Bitmain in the mining market for its cutting-edge mining rigs.

In 2019, WhatsMiner, depending on its production capacity advantage and cost performance, seized market share from Bitmain. Recently, WhatsMiner released the brand-new M30s miner. Bitmain S19 miner and 5nm chip are also in preparation. WhatsMiner is now the second-largest miner manufacturer after Bitmain with about 40% market share.

Yang’s former ties with Bitmain have been a source of trouble for the CEO. He has reportedly been held by Shenzen police to assist in an open investigation over IP disputes with Bitmain. Yang was accused of taking away all the S9 codes after leaving his job, as well as leaking the code to other mining machine manufacturers, leading to other manufacturers quickly catching up with Bitmain.

Yang’s latest public show was on the New Era Mining Summit, he said that the era when the power consumption of each generation of miners will be reduced by half is gone forever. He estimated that the power consumption of each generation of miner can only be reduced by 10% to 20%, and the service life of miners will be extended to 4.5 years in the future as the miners of low power consumption will be more popular. Yang predicted that bitcoin’s hashrate would rise to about 120E and the price will reach $110000 in 2021.

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