Updated: Bitmain’s Board Reshuffle is to Simplify Company Structure for IPO
Updated: According to a securities authority close to Bitmain, media reports about the company’s directors quitting the board was misread. The main body of Bitmain to be listed is Bitmain Technology Holdings Limited, while the personnel change happens in a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bitmain (Beijing Bitmain Technology Co., Ltd.). The person said companies preparing for IPO usually set up new board of directors to meet the requirements of listing regulations and simplify the board structure to facilitate management. The board adjustment is only a simplification of the structure of its wholly owned subsidiary.
Bitmain has reportedly made some changes to its board, with several members quitting the board including the company’s co-founder Jihan Wu.
According to the company information registered in local authority, Beijing-based Bitmain, world’s dominant crypto mining hardware manufacturer, has made a big personnel adjustment to its board last week on November 7, a day ahead of the rollout of Antminer S15.
Four out of six directors have quit the board. Zhao Yifeng, Ge Yuesheng, Zhou Feng, who previously served as directors, all quit the board of directors. Hu Yishuo, who previously served as supervisor, also quit the board of supervisors. Wu Jihan became the supervisor from the board’s executive director, while Zhan Ketuan remains to be Bitmain’s executive director and manager.
As a director, Jihan had the right to vote when the board makes decisions. However, after changing to a supervisor, his power becomes smaller that he can no longer vote. As thus, Wu will be unable to participate in the business decision-making but only serve as a supervisor, said a lawyer.
It remains as of unclear whether the company’s board is preparing yet another strategy shift, considering the mining giant has recently been under the spotlight with the rollout of its next-gen bitcoin miner Antminer S15 and the buzz of the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
Why did the company have such a sudden and big board shake-up at a critical time when the company’s IPO application is still underway and at the same time Bitcoin Cash hard fork is imminent?
On the same day of the company’s board shake-up, Bitmain was reported to have been hurried to deploy 90,000 miners in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang. As a loyal proponent of Bitcoin ABC, Bitmain’s move is supposed to gain upper hand in the looming “hash war” against Bitcoin SV. Prior to it, the company has only 125,000 miners hosted in China as of the first half this year. It is said its hurried deployment of 90,000 miners is likely to be affected by the latest local regulation which requires crypto mines to suspend operation for tax inspection.
On November 5, a temporary stock symbol of Bitmain was seen on Hong Kong Exchanges (HKEX), many investors thus said it marked the company’s IPO application has been approved.
Apart from the crucial events, the frequently exposed power struggle inside the company may also give a hint about the abrupt board shake-up.
Micree Zhan, Bitmain’s low-profile cofounder and technical mastermind, is in charge of technology research and development; and Jihan Wu focuses more on the market. While as the company grows bigger, the duo is divided on its future development. Zhan wants to develop AI technology and transform the company into a chipmaker just as its prospectus shows, while Wu focuses more ambition on the blockchain industry and hopes the company can continue to develop new miners and go long on BCH.
As of press time, Bitmain has yet no comment on the personnel adjustment. As for its future development and the company’s state quo, we’re unable to know unless the company releases an official statement. Nevertheless, one thing for sure, the company will continue to be in turmoil until the hash war is over and the result of listing is announced.