We are proud of how fast our business has grown since we were first founded in 2013. According to Frost & Sullivan, Bitmain is the second largest fabless chip design company in China and ranked among the world’s top ten in terms of revenue in 2017.
2018 saw significant change and growth for the business. This change and the pursuit of growth has been an important part of our journey. It has enabled us to innovate faster, optimize and streamline our business to rally behind our vision – contributing and enabling the Internet of Money. With these operational changes now in place, the priority for this year is to double-down on innovating for and serving our customers.
Bitmain’s listing application to HKex in September 2018 has reached its 6-month expiration date. We do recognize that despite the huge potential of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, it remains a relatively young industry which is proving its value. We hope regulatory authorities, media, and the general public can be more inclusive to this young industry. We will restart the listing application work at an appropriate time in the future.
In the meantime, the listing process has made the company more transparent and standardized. The process of rationalization and optimization has made our business more focused on the things that are core to our mission.
As part of this, at the end of 2018 we adjusted our personnel, as we aligned our focus on cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence (AI) chips, as well as products and services based on such chips. It was a difficult but necessary decision as we continue to build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business. We did our best to compensate our employees above the legal requirement.
Since then, we have established clear business divisions for mining hardware, AI, mining farms and mining pools. At the same time, we have integrated the resource lines for chip design, hardware and software to provide more effective support for our key business lines and to allocate premium resources to our major and key projects. These all help to ensure the success of our core business and commitment with our customers through a more robust lifeline and competitiveness.
Aligned to this new operational model, we have also made changes to our leadership. Mr. Haichao Wang has been appointed as CEO of the company. Haichao not only has extensive experience in the chip industry but also succesfully headed-up multiple departments at Bitmain. We are confident that through his experience and passion, he will drive better products and services for our customers. Mr. Micree Zhan and Mr. Jihan Wu, the co-founders of Bitmain, will continue to be our directors to guide the company’s strategic development.
The bear market at the end of 2018 brought both challenges and opportunities that Bitmain will work hard at addressing in 2019. In fact, we have already started with competitive products that meet the needs of our customers.
We recently released the Antminer Z11, based on our 12nm ASIC design, followed by announcement of the Antminer S17 and T17, based on our second generation 7nm chip BM1397. A single BM1397 chip integrates more than 1 billion transistors and features continuous optimization in the circuit structure and low power consumption technology. The energy efficiency ratio of the new chip is as low as 30J/TH, saving energy by 28.6% compared with the previous generation, and its overall performance is more stable.
On the AI side of our business, we have signed cooperation agreements with the Fuzhou Municipal Government of Fujian Province, China Mobile Hangzhou Research and Development Center, and China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute, while rolling out different generations of neural processors, which are fast finding wide acceptance among established tech companies, such as cloud gaming provider Ubitus.
We continue to fund open-source developers, projects and organizations. For those that we see potential and share our vision, we fund them, often with no strings attached. It means a lot to both our community and ourselves, to be able to fund exciting projects, as it gives us the opportunity to bring to life truly transformational technologies. Whilst it is our policy not to disclose our investments in the interests of privacy to those that we fund, it is safe to say we have already funded a great deal and will continue to do so in 2019.
All these contribute towards our mission to produce great hardware and software, as part of our commitment towards the security and stability of a multitude of cryptocurrencies.
We look forward to continuing these efforts for customers this year, and contributing to a distributed, decentralized world that empowers everyone. We hope you continue to have confidence in our future as we embark on this new journey with you!