The escalating internal power struggle at Bitmain is starting to have a more serious impact on its business and customers.
- The Beijing-based bitcoin miner maker said via the official WeChat account of its AntMiner brand Thursday that customers whose equipment were due in June and July will have to wait until September and October.
- The delay is caused by "external interference over the company's management," the official account said.
- It's important to note that bitcoin miners are typically sold via pre-orders, which must be made two to three months in advance.
- That means customers who ordered the June and July batches could have placed their orders as early as March and April.
- The delay comes amid the escalating fight for control of Bitmain between its two co-founders, Wu Jihan and Micree Zhan Ketuan, which has essentially "hard-forked" the firm's bitcoin miner production.
- Currently, the official WeChat account of the AntMiner brand is controlled by Wu's faction within the firm.
- Zhan was ousted by Wu in October, but returned to power in June and has controlled Bitmain’s Shenzhen-based factory since then.
- The situation threatens to become a kind of stalemate: Zhan's side will likely not have an easier time with shipments either, as Wu also controls the miner chip supply chain via Beijing Bitmain's parent entity in Hong Kong.
- Bitmain is now offering two mutually exclusive options for customers whose orders are delayed.
- The first option is to send Bitmain a written request to speed up the delivery. If they still don't receive their machines 60 days after the notice, they can request a refund.
- The second is to wait patiently until the actual delivery, with Bitmain saying it will compensate customers with their theoretical mining revenue between now and delivery in the form of cash coupons to be used in future purchases.
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