Bitcoin mining firm Bitmain announced delays in the shipping of its mining rigs due to “external interference.” The company said customers expecting to receive their equipment between June and July should now expect them by September or October this year.
Bitmain offered two options to its customers, both of which cannot be selected at the same time. First, the customer can write a request and send it to the company then expect the delivery within 60 days. If the customer does not receive the product within the time frame, they can request a refund. Second, the customer can just wait for the equipment to finally be delivered, and the company will compensate by giving cash coupons based on their theoretical mining revenue.
Both options bother the customers because these rigs have been ordered and paid for in advance, around two to three months before the expected delivery date.
The news highlighted the growing conflict between the company’s executives Wu Jihan and Micree Zhan Ketuan. It should be remembered that Wu ousted Zhan from Bitmain last year. A legal battle ensued, but a court verdict has ruled in favor of Zhan, allowing him to be the largest shareholder of Bitmain.
At the moment, Zhan controls Bitmain’s factory in Shenzhen, China. Wu controls the supply chain through Bitmain’s Hong Kong parent. Wu also controls the WeChat account of Bitmain’s AntMiner brand.
Bitmain has dominated the crypto mining industry and was once the crypto industry’s most valued startup. The power struggle between the two executives has been well documented, which has left customers confused. While China could still be Bitmain’s home turf, the case could become different in other places, where miners might try to choose to use a competing mining rig. According to Igor Runets, the CEO of Russia’s BitRiver mining site, clients of his have switched to MicroBT, a Bitmain rival.
Accordingly, the two executives would soon face off again in the battle to secure the AntMiner trademark. Bitmain already filed for the Antminer trademark in both China and Hong Kong, initiated by Bitmaintech Pte., the company’s Singapore entity. However, when Zhan returned to the company, a new trademark was again filed on June 5.
Ultimately, the one case that could deceit the future leadership of Bitmain is in the hands of a court in the Cayman Islands, where BitMain Technologies Holding, the parent holding entity of all Bitmain companies reside. While Zhan owns 36% of this holding entity, Wu owns 20%, but the complicated businesses of Bitmain complicates things despite Zhan’s major holdings.