Bitmain’s ‘onerous fork’ to finish in $600M settlement in favor of Micree Zhan
After months of struggling for control of the company, Bitmain co-founders Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan have reportedly reached an agreement. According to Chinese crypto expert Colin Wu, who was reported by several local publications, both parties have agreed to pay $ 600 million in compensation to Jihan Wu, with Zhan taking control of the crypto miner’s operations.
As part of the deal, Wu will leave the company and take over the BTC.com mining pool and Bitmain’s overseas mining centers. So, Zhan remains the Antpool mining pool and Bitmain’s China-based mining operations.
The deal also provides for Zhan to be responsible for the artificial intelligence (AI) division and the company to be responsible for manufacturing hardware for mining facilities. Zhan will temporarily mortgage his shares to raise the $ 600 million needed to buy Wu’s stake in the company.
Sequoia Capital will act as the middle regulator in negotiating the deal, which is expected to be ratified at the AGM scheduled for December 28th. However, reports suggest that the current terms of the agreement may change in the meantime.
While the move represents a settlement to the current dispute, the division of Bitmain’s assets means that both co-founders will be classified as future competitors. Under the deal, Zhan will reportedly complete an IPO in the U.S. before the end of 2022.
The company’s first IPO took place back in March 2019 and likely sparked tension between the two co-founders. Both figureheads resigned from running the company, but Wu returned in October, displacing Zhan in a shock movement.
A month later, Zhan declared his removal from the company illegal and threatened legal action. Zhan later regained control of Bitmain’s Beijing office and stormed the building with security guards in early June 2020