10,000 Antminers Go â€˜Missingâ€™ in Latest Chapter of Bitmain Power Saga
Former Bitmain staff have been accused of â€œillegallyâ€� moving 10,000 Antiminers from a company-owned mining facility in Mongolia.
In the ongoing power struggle at cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain, not only have accusations of â€œillegal power seizuresâ€� made headlines, but now the physical theft of mining hardware as well.
A new post on Bitmain-owned Antminerâ€™s WeChat channel alleges that former Bitmain staff have â€œillegally movedâ€� 10,000 Antiminer Bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs from a company-owned facility in Mongolia.
The machines â€” among them models from the S17 and T17 series and flagship S9 miners â€” were reportedly removed in mid-July, causing â€œserious economic losses to the company and customers.â€� The incident has been reported to the police and public security authorities.
At stake is not only Bitmainâ€™s own hardware, but also that belonging to clients who choose to have their mining hardware operated and hosted at the manufacturerâ€™s mining farms.
In a post to Bitmainâ€™s Weibo account, co-founder Micree Ketuan Zhan â€” one half of the duo at loggerheads over power at Bitmain â€” accused his co-founder Jihan Wu of being responsible for the â€œillegal transferâ€� of the machines.
Bitmain Weibo post, signed by four Bitmain subsidiaries. Source: Weibo
Power, property and office brawls
The backdrop to this weekâ€™s moved miner saga is a conflict raging over which of the two co-founders has the position of legal representative at Bitmain.
Since October 2019 â€” when Wu reportedly ousted Zhan in what the latter referred to as an â€œillegal power seizureâ€� â€” the pair have been embroiled in an extremely public battle over control of the firm.
Bitmainâ€™s chief financial officer was arrested in May after allegedly participating in a purported â€œmob attackâ€� on Zhan, in response to the latterâ€™s controversial attempt to wrest back the role of legal representative at Bitmainâ€™s Chinese subsidiary.
In June, reports on the intensifying struggle alleged that Zhan had hired guards to forcibly seize control of Bitmainâ€™s Beijing office. Zhan has also pursued legal action in his bid to regain control.
At present, Wu retains formal authority over Bitmainâ€™s Hong Kong-based operations, and the firm reaffirmed Zhanâ€™s October ousting again this spring. Zhan continues â€” by various means â€” in his attempts to regain control of operations in the mainland.
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