CEO of Bitmain Rival MicroBT Facing Embezzlement Wrap in China
Prosecutors in Shenzhen, China, are reportedly looking to press embezzlement charges against the CEO of Bitmain rival MicroBT.
The CEO, Yang Zuoxing, is a former Bitmain employee who worked in the latter’s chip design department. Per a report from Bloomberg, quoting three anonymous sources, “[Yang] was detained by Shenzhen police at the end of October in relation to a legal dispute with his former employer.”
Prosecutors in the city’s Nanshan district announced that Yang has been “arrested recently on suspicion of embezzlement,” and stated that he was involved in an active legal case, although they made no mention of either Bitmain or MicroBT.
Yang founded MicroBT just a month after leaving Bitmain, and the former's bestselling Whatsminer rigs also make use of components produced by Taiwan Semiconductor and Samsung – just like Bitmain.
Yang left Bitmain in 2016 after being denied an equity stake by Bitmain co-founders Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan. After Yang founded MicroBT, he was sued by Bitmain over patent rights, however, the case was dismissed.
Bloomberg says its sources believe the move has left MicroBT in limbo, blocking the company from making “key decisions,” including decisions pertaining to pricing-related matters at the time when their major competitor, Bitmain, is working on a more aggressive expansion strategy.
As previously reported, co-founder Wu Jihan has recently retaken control of Bitmain, following a long, bitter and as-yet-incomplete dispute with former business partner Micree Zhan – allegedly one of the world’s richest Bitcoin billionaires.
Wu promised clients that the Bitmain they were “familiar with” was back. He has also unveiled an aggressive marketing strategy, offering miners the chance to get their hands on Bitmain rigs for “deposits as low as 20%.”
Wu has also enlisted the help of mining consulting agencies Fastblock and Bit5ive as part of a new push to popularize Bitmain Antminer equipment in South America.