You wouldn’t think of him as your prototypical crypto billionaire. You don’t see him in photos with beautiful women, and it’s a safe bet the man doesn’t own a flashy suit. For a man who seems to prefer to be in the background, his impact on today’s crypto markets can’t be denied. Meet Jihan Wu of Bitmain.
A Look At The Present
Given Bitmain’s dominance of the mining hardware sector, it’s been getting more difficult for the man to stay in the background of it all. As the co-founder of Bitmain Technologies, Jihan Wu is already a billionaire at 32 years old, and he will likely remain a force to be reckoned within the years to come.
Admired by some, detested by others, crypto enthusiasts can’t deny his place in the world of crypto. The Chinese business mogul and the company he founded with Micree Zhan has helped bring application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) to the mining business, which would turn out to be a brilliant move from the former financial analyst-turned businessman.
Th ASIC is the current gold standard in cryptocurrency mining, with its speed and power leaving GPUs eating dust. Speed becomes a critical factor as the inflation rate of bitcoin slows and coins become increasingly more difficult to mine, and Bitmain has positioned itself to take advantage. The firm’s work has bought mining to the forefront of the crypto industry.
Expanding A Power Base
Going beyond mere hardware and software, Wu and Bitmain have developed their own mining pool alongside BT.com, called Antpool, with nearly 25 percent of all Bitcoin blocks mined having gone through Antpool.
It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for Wu, however. Many critics accuse him and his firm of unethical practices, including the use of 51% attacks on rival chains, collusion with others to ensure Bitmain is competitive in areas where it is less competitive, and other underhanded moves that Wu denies.
Perhaps Wu’s most controversial move is his open support of the contentious hard fork of Bitcoin that gave birth to Bitcoin Cash. His continued support of Bitcoin Cash has not helped alleviate concerns in the crypto market.
Taking On The Future
Bitmain’s growth under Wu’s stewardship seems poised to take the firm from obscurity to renown with a record-breaking initial public offering (IPO). Many estimate the company’s value to be nearly $10 billion. Hitting this mark with an IPO could place the firm in a position to challenge rivals such as Nvidia and Mediatek should the IPO come to pass.
In a recent Fortune interview, Wu talked about his plans, saying:
“My priority is, first, that we will continue to invest a lot of resources into the research and R&D of mining rigs to make sure we maintain an advantage over other competitors, like Avalon. We will also invest into our vision about the future of a crypto market. We think that it will start to support the real world economy and to build more than this financial market on the Internet. Bitmain will also start to deploy lots of artificial intelligence products into the market—a totally new business selling hardware to do artificial intelligence accelerations.”
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