One Bitmain staffer confirmed to CoinDesk under anonymity the authenticity of the internal email that CoinDesk obtained, and said it is like the version 2.0 of Dec 17, referring to Bitmain’s major layoff in late 2018. Another source close to the company said Bitmain is currently having an urgent all-hands meeting.
Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain is experiencing turmoil inside its management after the company sent out an email to all staff announcing co-founder and executive director Micree Ketuan Zhan is ousted.
Jihan Wu, another co-founder of Bitmain and now chairman of the board, sent an email with a subject “important notice” to all staff around Tuesday noon Beijing time, saying:
“Bitmain’s co-founder, chairman, legal representative and executive director Jihan Wu has decided to dissolve all roles of Ketuan Zhan, effective immediately. Any Bitmain staff shall no longer take any direction from Zhan, or participate in any meeting organized by Zhan. Bitmain may, based on the situation, consider terminating employment contracts of those who violate this note.”
The company has not responded to CoinDesk’s request for comment.
The email follows news on Tuesday morning that Bitmain has changed its corporate structure in the registration filing with government agencies. Based on new update, after the change, Wu has taken over the roles of executive director and legal representative of Bitmain from Zhan.
It’s not clear how Bitmain’s board reached the abrupt decision or if Zhan was bought out of his shares.
As of September last year when Bitmain filed the IPO application, Zhan was still a major shareholder of Bitmain with 60 percent of its equity while Wu and Yuesheng Ge, another co-founder, owned about 30 percent in total.
Both Wu and Zhan served as co-CEO of Bitmain and stepped down from the role in March this year after its IPO failed.
Bitmain Spin-Off Matrixport Seeks $300M Valuation in Latest Funding Round
Singapore-based Matrixport, founded by Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu last February, is looking to raise $40 million in a new raise, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Should the round be successful, Matrixport’s post-money valuation would hit $300 million, nearly triple the $114 million the young company reached with its previous funding. Matrixport claims to have made revenue between $7 million and $8 million since beginning operations last July, according to a pitch deck seen by Bloomberg.
The company started actively pitching investors a few weeks ago.
Matrixport provides regulatory compliant crypto-related financial services to professional traders, including OTC trading and lending services, as well as a custody solution. Most recently in February, the company launched a product helping traders successfully identify and take advantage of market dips.
CoinDesk previously reported that many Matrixport staff came from Bitmain’s blockchain-development department, a division directly under Wu’s control. Although Matrixport was spun out last year, both Wu and Bitmain remain major shareholders.
Matrixport was among several Chinese cryptocurrency companies to make a strategic investment in Beijing-based media and data outlet Mars Finance last September.