For someone who does not seem to like the spotlight, Jihan Wu— the Bitmain Co-founder- is one who attracts the most attention in the crypto community. On first look upon him, all you would see is a regular guy in regular clothes who would not easily stand out in a room full of people. However, Mr. Wu is anything but regular. The 32-year-old billionaire is one of the most brilliant minds in the crypto community and one of the minds behind the firm already dominating cryptocurrency mining within just five years of its inception.
Over the years, Jihan Wu has made friends and foes alike- all who would downright admit that regardless, he is a force to be reckoned with. Jihan Wu and the company he founded alongside two others, including Micree Zhan, most notably helped to bring application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) to the budding field of mining. ASICs is the current world standard in Bitcoin mining as it is 300 times faster than graphics processing units (GPUs); still being used to mine lesser valued cryptocurrencies.
Hardware Production Alone, Not Good Enough
Beyond the production of chips and software alone, Jihan Wu and Bitmain have extended their reach into developing their mining pools- BTC.com and Antpool. Whooping figures of more than 26% and 17% of Bitcoin blocks mined have gone through BTC.com and Antpool respectively. This, in turn, means that Bitmain now influences over at least 42% of Bitcoin hash rate. The two pools combined also control a combined 21.3% of the Bitcoin Cash hash rate, which operates at the same SHA-256 algorithm as Bitcoin.
In addition to the development of various mining tools, Bitmain has also created hardware for mining called the Antminer, among others. Bitmain is in control of nothing less than 80 percent of all mining gear and are also very well invested in the budding sector of cloud mining with hashnet. Jihan Wu- citizen and a resident of China- was in so much awe of Satoshi Nakamoto’s idea that he was the first person to translate his white paper into Chinese. Jihan Wu and Bitmain may be at loggerheads with the Chinese government due to the ongoing war against cryptocurrency-related trades and ban of Initial coin offering (ICO) in the country.
Bitmain To Go Public?
Bitmain recently closed in on ten billion dollars and this record-breaking figure under Mr. Wu’s leadership shows that they are ready to take on other public rivals like Nvidia and Mediatek should they decide to go public. Bitmain having an Initial public offering (IPO) means they now have to begin to open up their books and report their financial and accounting information to the regulators. Speaking on working with regulators, Mr. Wu explained, “Our business is semiconductor design. Circle (a U.S. cryptocurrency startup) has been much more experienced with regulators. That’s why Bitmain is interested in Circle as well. We see in the future that negotiating and working with regulators is quite important. We need to push those heavy regulations back a little bit. But we need to work with them, not just try to get around it.” With all this in place, I guess it is safe to say that Jihan Wu is not backing down any time soon.