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The deepest report: Bitmain's self-help history

The deepest report: Bitmain's self-help history
The original intention of this article is to let readers understand the causes and consequences of Bitmain internal fighting, but after writing it, I found that it is not so much internal fighting as it is a long history of self-help.
The story is very long. Let's adjust the timeline to the eve of December 17, 2018. That was one of Bitmain's most critical moments and the beginning of a series of subsequent stories.
1. Self-immolation In September 2018, Bitmain's financial department warned management that the company's cash flow has become very tight and operating costs must be reduced to allow the company to continue. The blockchain unicorn, which is valued at more than 15 billion U.S. dollars, is crippled in the run and struggling to break the corner.
In 2017, Bitmain made a profit of 1 billion US dollars In the first half of 2018, Bitmain made a profit of 1 billion US dollars Three rounds of financing, a total of 800 million US dollars Net assets should exceed 3 billion U.S. dollars In September 2018, Bitmain had tight cash flow and was on the verge of bankruptcy
A simple comparison, it is not difficult to see that Bitmain's ability to make money is incredible, and its ability to burn money is even more extreme.
How does Bitmain burn money? Do you pour cash into gasoline and burn it, or hire a lot of employees to stuff the banknotes one by one into the shredder? The actual situation is closer to the latter.
The following data can help readers quickly learn Bitmain's money burning skills.
At the beginning of 2018, the entire cryptocurrency market has entered a bear market, but Bitmain's monthly operating costs have been rising wildly. Operating costs have risen from 10 million US dollars at the beginning of the year to 50 million US dollars at the end of the year.
Large-scale expansion of the R&D team is one of the main reasons. The HR who once worked at Bitmain revealed that the company once hired more than 50 employees a day and nearly 500 employees a month. Even so, it was criticized for its slow recruitment speed. The cash consumption in this area is approximately $250 million.
Operating costs are just the tip of the iceberg. Excessive chip trial production can become a classic case of project management courses. Readers who pay attention to Cryptocurrency mining can easily find that Bitmain is still working hard to clear the inventory of Antminer S9 in 2019. As the co-CEO, Ketuan Zhan did not listen to the advice or even warnings of the Finance Department, insisting on the implementation of Excessive chip trial production, resulting in a large accumulation of inventory and tight capital turnover. Another CEO, Jihan Wu, once revealed that the loss of Excessive chip trial production to the company was approximately US$1.5 billion.
Large-scale expansion of the R&D team is one of the main reasons. The HR who once worked at Bitmain revealed that the company once hired more than 50 employees a day and nearly 500 employees a month. Even so, it was criticized for its slow recruitment speed. The cash consumption in this area is approximately $250 million.
The BM1393 chip incident is even more incredible. Chip expert Ketuan Zhan invested a lot of money on a failed chip, and finally failed again. From 2017 to 2018, Bitmain has failed Trial production of mining machine chips at least 4 times, including 16nm, 12nm and 10nm chips, of which 16nm Trial production failed twice, thus losing at least US$1.2 billion.
It is rumored that Bitmain still holds a billion U.S. dollars worth of cryptocurrency in a state of floating loss. In view of the rebound in the market in 2020, we will not comment temporarily, waiting for the correct answer from the cryptocurrency market. But the losses pointed out in the previous article are all irreversible.
2. Sole power
In September 2018, Bitmain's management realized the seriousness of the problem. It turned out that the company's money could be squandered. As a result, the management began to discuss self-help plans, and the most reasonable and effective way was obviously to lay off employees.
The probation period for newly hired employees at Bitmain is half a year, and the probationary salary is 100% of the official salary, there is no difference. Once layoffs are made, new employees who have not passed the probationary period will be the main layoff targets. The department managed by Ketuan Zhan will face large-scale layoffs. The layoff plan is strongly opposed by Ketuan Zhan. Bitmain can only temporarily abandon the layoffs and replace it with continuous reductions. For marketing and travel expenses, a budget committee was established to strictly approve every expenditure. At the same time, employee benefits, such as reimbursement of taxi expenses, breakfast supply, snacks and drinks, etc., have also been abolished, and even the tradition of giving employees 400 yuan worth of BTC/BCH every month has been stopped.
In the face of huge cash flow pressure, trivial savings is obviously of no avail. Soon, the management again discussed the layoff plan, and it has reached the point where it has to be laid off.
In December 2018, Jihan Wu began to organize all entrepreneurial veterans and business backbones to persuade Ketuan Zhan to agree to layoffs, but Ketuan Zhan still insisted not to layoffs. The persuasion process was very unsuccessful. After many meetings and intense debates, Bitmain executives were caught in a dilemma of wasting time with Ketuan Zhan.
In this process, the shortcomings of the dual CEO system began to appear, and the relationship between the two CEOs gradually deteriorated.
On the night of December 16th, Ketuan Zhan reconvened the management meeting, and more than 30 managements who were present were asked to hand over their mobile phones. At this time, Jihan Wu was on a business trip in Hong Kong and was busy with listing related work.
In the meeting, Ketuan Zhan's core content was three items:
(1) Bitmain cannot have two CEOs, only one CEO and must be Ketuan Zhan. Ketuan Zhan said that he met an old leader during a business trip. He hadn't seen each other for many years. The old leader suggested that the company can only have one CEO, and it must be him. Ketuan Zhan feels that this is a kind of fate, an opportunity given by God.
(2) Ketuan Zhan believes that the company's cash flow problems, the biggest responsibility is the inability of the financial department. To prove his point, Ketuan Zhan announced Bitmain's financial data at the meeting. In the evening, employees in Taiwan began to post messages on social media, saying that the company's capital chain was broken and the top management was split.
(3) If Ketuan Zhan is not supported, the option will be cancelled and the equity will be voided.
Hearing about this, Jihan Wu, who lives in Hong Kong, sent a WeChat message to the management who are attending the meeting.

https://preview.redd.it/zkj2d44tqid51.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9251c1f7308e155d7911d5969e71091a5ad5e14a
On the afternoon of December 17, 2018, Jihan Wu returned to Beijing to negotiate with Ketuan Zhan all night, and finally reached a consensus in the early morning. Bitmain co-founder Yuesheng Ge announced the results of the negotiations. Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan ceased to serve as CEOs, and Haichao Wang served as CEO. Jihan Wu voluntarily backed down and Ketuan Zhan served as chairman.
The "12.17 Incident" had a very bad impact on Bitmain, especially the disclosure of Bitmain's financial status, which caused vendors to start dunning. The loan that had just been negotiated with the Bank of Beijing was cancelled the next day. Jihan Wu's resignation as CEO caused an uproar in the industry, and it became a hot topic among Cryptocurrency mining, blockchain practitioners, and investor communities. The media focused their interpretation on Bitmain's series of incidents, and generally looked down upon its ongoing Hong Kong IPO, believing that the high-level changes had already signaled the failure of the IPO in advance.
On Christmas December 24, 2018, Bitmain finally began to implement the layoff plan. This long-delayed “correct decision” was achieved after a stalemate for nearly three months. The AI ​​teams in Beijing, Singapore, Taiwan, and Shanghai have laid off more than 50% of their employees. The Israeli R&D center was closed and Shenzhen New Species Technology Co., Ltd., which had been acquired for only ten months, was dissolved, and all employees were laid off. Copernicus, Bitmain's top blockchain development team, was not spared and was wiped out in this layoff. Copernicus and some of the laid-off employees joined the new company Matrixport co-founded by Jihan Wu and Yuesheng Ge, headquartered in Singapore.
3. Past events when starting a business
After the "12.17 Incident", Jihan Wu gradually faded out of Bitmain's management affairs and turned his attention to the IPO and new company. And this is one of Jihan Wu's major mistakes, he began to let Ketuan Zhan manage Bitmain alone.
In fact, as early as 2013, Jihan Wu planted hidden dangers.
Jihan Wu, an investment banker, was the earliest translator of the Bitcoin white paper. He began to get involved in the cryptocurrency mining industry in 2012. The disappearance of Kaomao and Nangua Zhang's ticket skipping led Jihan Wu to decide to develop his own chip.
In 2013, Jihan Wu established his own mining machine company. Together with Yuesheng Ge, who was only 20 years old, he found Ketuan Zhan, an integrated circuit designer of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to create the protagonist of this article, and later the digital Cryptocurrency mining giant, Bitmain.
Jihan Wu promised Ketuan Zhan that every time a mining machine chip was successfully developed, he would give some shares to the Ketuan Zhan team. At that time, the company founded by Ketuan Zhan was on the eve of falling apart. In order to regroup the team, Ketuan Zhan promised to share half of his shares with the team members. Unfortunately, this is just a bad check. With the rapid development of Bitmain and higher and higher valuations, the expanding Ketuan Zhan almost monopolized all the shares.
Like many startups, Bitmain encountered many difficulties in its early days, and many jobs had to be done by the boss. For example, in the chip design and production process in the second half of 2013, Bitmain was caught in a dilemma of insufficient funds. Jihan Wu personally raised funds and met with TSMC’s sales to persuade TSMC to accept the production needs of a start-up company. Jihan Wu also participated in the selection of the thermodynamic parameters of the heat sink in the Antminer S1.
In 2014, Jihan Wu discovered that this company was independently operated by Ketuan Zhan, which had huge problems. Forcing Jihan Wu to continue to participate in company management.
At that time, Bitmain's mining machine chips had just achieved a certain lead in the standard design process. Jihan Wu believes that the next step must be to develop full customization technology, but Ketuan Zhan plans to invest resources in the research of mobile payment chips.
Ketuan Zhan met a mysterious person from the Party Central Security Bureau who claimed to be able to manipulate the Party Central Committee’s decision-making process for the next generation of mobile payment cryptography standards, but this direction is likely to lead to the fact that Bitmain has just gained the lead in the mining machine market. Regained.
Jihan Wu said that as a graduate of the School of Economics, with a little memory of his high school stage and the knowledge reserve of a computer technology amateur, he retrieves various materials and papers every day, learns theories related to full customization, and goes to Ketuan Zhan conducts persuasion work there.
Fortunately, in the direction of full customization technology, Ketuan Zhan finally listened to Jihan Wu's opinion. Bitmain quickly integrated the technical experts from the United States and Russia introduced by Jihan Wu, which greatly improved the design level of chips and complete machines.
In 2015, Jihan Wu suggested that Ketuan Zhan consider the direction of artificial intelligence. But Ketuan Zhan is not here, he prefers the CPU direction. After staying asleep at night, coupled with in-depth analysis by the Bitmain investment team, Ketuan Zhan finally agreed with this direction. It is a pity that after the Tianshi Chen brothers made major breakthroughs in theory and practice, Bitmain officially invested in the relevant direction, and it was still a step behind.
In the two years from 2016 to 2017, Bitmain's business performance has achieved rapid development, becoming a unique super unicorn in the blockchain industry. According to Froth & Sullivan, in 2017, Bitmain Technology Holdings was the second largest fabless chip design company in China and the tenth largest fabless chip design company in the world, and the fourth largest fabless ASIC chip design company in the world, accounting for 74.5% of global cryptocurrency market share.
However, the huge crisis has long been buried in the early days of entrepreneurship.
Ketuan Zhan's decision on major directions revealed his weakness of extremely lack of business understanding. But every mistake he made was blocked by the company's core employees. His overconfidence in his management ability led to the gradual intensification of conflicts, and the management differences between the two founders became more serious.
4.The giant gets lost
The contradiction between the two broke out on December 17, 2018. Ketuan Zhan used extreme means to force the management to compromise with him by canceling the option, so as to achieve the goal of sole control of the company. Jihan Wu returned to Beijing from Hong Kong overnight and negotiated with Ketuan Zhan all night. In the end, the two resigned as CEO. Jihan Wu retired. Ketuan Zhan has the exclusive rights of chairman in exchange for the implementation of the layoff plan.
Jihan Wu's voluntary retreat has intensified Ketuan Zhan's management to do whatever he wants.
A Bitmain employee commented on Ketuan Zhan's management skills, summed up in two letters-SM.
After becoming the sole helm of the company, Ketuan Zhan quickly "rectified" the department in charge of Jihan Wu as the chairman of the board. He guided the sales of mining machines at the dinner, and pointed out that the sales performance is not due to the sales staff. Ability is strong, but the company provides opportunities. Take two sales leaders as examples, saying that if the company hadn't given the opportunity, they would still be losers. In addition, Ketuan Zhan also instructed the sales staff on how to toast and imparted the wine table culture and experience.
After the meal, Ketuan Zhan came to the conclusion that the quality of Bitmain sales staff was too poor, and Huawei’s blood needs to be injected to drive the company’s progress. Soon, the marketing and sales director from Huawei officially took over Bitmain, opening the era of brand premium for Antminer.
In order to further understand and guide the sales work, Ketuan Zhan asked to meet the customers with the sales staff. During the negotiation process, Ketuan Zhan had a heated discussion with customers on the issue of Chinese and Western medicine, and had also forced the sales staff to be able to ship 10,000 machines due to insufficient production capacity.
Although the requirements for sales personnel are strict, Ketuan Zhan has provided a lot of convenience for "Mainland Ark". In addition to selling mining machines at a more favorable price, Bitmain's mining machines are also hosted in Ming Wang at a higher price than the market price. Mine. It is reported that both Ketuan Zhan and Ming Wang are shareholders of Ark.
The new sales strategy of Huawei's executives has also brought very obvious changes to Bitmain. The self-righteous brand premium reduces the price-performance ratio of Antminer, causing competing products to eat away at Bitmain's market share. Later, Bitmain found that the strategy was wrong and started to cut prices, and found that the mining machine market was saturated and the purchase demand of miners had decreased.
More dangerous than the sales strategy is that the technical advantages of Antminer are being chased by competing products, and even overtaken. At the same time, the two mining pools under Bitmain also lost their first and second positions. The AI ​​business, which Jihan Wu placed high hopes and Ketuan Zhan personally supervised, became a laughing stock in the industry. Not only did it fail to make a profit, it almost brought down Bitmain.
Blindly introducing senior executives from Huawei to occupy important positions completely destroys the company's internal cultural foundation. The bureaucracy within Bitmain began to corrode from high-level employees to ordinary employees. Ketuan Zhan is not aware of this. He is still keen on recruiting Huawei employees, imitating Huawei's organizational structure and strategy, letting HR do sales and R&D personnel to do HR.
The organizational structure adjustment in October 2019 was the fuse for Ketuan Zhan to completely anger Bitmain management. This time, Ketuan Zhan completely marginalized Bitmain’s veteran employees, and suddenly promoted some of the “airborne soldiers” who had just joined the company to the position of person in charge, which caused the former person in charge to report to the new employees. The two managers who were originally equal The hierarchy becomes the subordinate relationship, the operation and development of different business lines are merged into a large department, the upward reporting process becomes more cumbersome, and the relationship between employees becomes delicate.
5. Headwind
On October 29, 2019, Jihan Wu urgently held a staff meeting. Prior to this, the legal representative of Beijing Bitmain has been changed to Jihan Wu, including the parent companies Hong Kong Bitmain and Cayman Bitmain. Jihan Wu stood in the lobby of Building 25, B1, announcing that Ketuan Zhan has been relieved of all duties. Any employee in the Bitmain Group shall no longer execute Ketuan Zhan’s instructions and participate in any meetings convened by Ketuan Zhan. If there is any violation, the company will demotion and expel the company based on the severity of the circumstances. If losses are caused to the company, the company will be held accountable.
Jihan Wu's speech is very long, which can be summarized as follows:
(1) Ketuan Zhan has been relieved of all duties. Also expelled from the original Huawei company HR Zhi Wang introduced by Ketuan Zhan at the end of 2018. Zhi Wang’s reputation on Bitmain was extremely poor and was ridiculed by employees as "nine thousand years" (In ancient China, the emperor was called "ten thousand years old", and the prince was "eight thousand years old." However, in the Ming Dynasty, there was an eunuch who caused harm to the country and the people. He called himself "nine thousand years old", meaning that he was only A little lower than the emperor's level).
(2) Ketuan Zhan's ability to control the company's option incentive plan has disappeared, and it is no longer possible to cancel employees' options at will.
(3) The organizational structure adjustment plan led by Ketuan Zhan was suspended.
(4) We are optimistic about the future of AI business, but the premise is that the main business can continue to make profits in order to support the company's continued investment in AI business.
In the speech, Jihan Wu also told employees the whole story of the "12.17 Incident" and bluntly said that the company is not in good condition. If no measures are taken, Bitmain is likely to go bankrupt in three quarters and he must come back to save the company.
At this time, Ketuan Zhan, who was on a business trip in Shenzhen, finally experienced the situation of Jihan Wu in the "12.17 Incident".
After the official return, Jihan Wu began to clearly point out the company's various problems in operation and management, and went deep into each business line to understand the situation. In the mining machine sales department meeting, employees spoke enthusiastically, reflecting on the difficulties and opinions encountered in the work, the marketing and sales director from Huawei asked with a surprised look, "Why didn't these issues be reported to me before?", and soon , The director was interviewed and "voluntarily resigned."
On November 2, 2019, Jihan Wu announced a salary increase for all employees. Bitmain’s last salary increase dates back to 2018. In principle, Bitmain has two salary increases every year.
On November 7, 2019, Ketuan Zhan spoke on social media for the first time, describing his hardship in starting a business, and condemning Jihan Wu for “stabbing a knife in the back”. At the end of the article, he also set himself a KPI for 2020, that is, the mining machine market share will reach 90%, and the AI ​​business will earn 1 billion.
But Ketuan Zhan's majestic plan did not make Bitmain employees feel emotional, but ridiculed him instead. Employees exposed that he insulted employees, advocated Chinese medicine, believed in Buddhism, drank in meetings, practiced Qigong...
However, there is less than half a year before the halving of Bitcoin production, and the cryptocurrency market shows no signs of recovery, which makes Bitmain management very anxious.
On January 6, 2020, Bitmain ushered in another round of layoffs, with a layoff ratio of about 1/3. This time the layoffs have caused many employees who have just increased their salaries to feel very grieved. On the one hand, they were looking forward to Jihan Wu's return. On the other hand, the compensation for this layoff was less than 18 years.
Ketuan Zhan, who has been unable to enter the Bitmain office area, once again spoke on social media and firmly opposed to layoffs. We do not need to lay off staff and we cannot commit suicide.
During the Spring Festival, Covid-19 broke out. Mainland China has begun to extend the Spring Festival holiday and advocate working from home. Under the chain reaction caused by Covid-19, most companies have chosen to cut salaries or even lay off employees. In the first two months of 2020, China's exports fell by 17%, U.S. stocks were broken four times in a row, Bitcoin plunged 40% in 24 hours on March 12, 2020, and crude oil futures fell by 300% on April 20, 2020...
Obviously, Jihan Wu can't predict, but this layoff seems to be the right decision again. In addition, from January to April 2020, Bitmain's revenue exceeded US$400 million amid the spread of Covid-19 and the collapse of the financial market.
6. Fight to the death
When Jihan Wu tried to get the company back on track, Ketuan Zhan was not helpless. On April 28, 2020, Ketuan Zhan finally rolled back the legal representative of Beijing Bitmain to before October 28, 2019 by repeatedly submitting administrative reconsiderations, and restored his status as a legal representative.
On the morning of May 8, 2020, a piece of news about Bitmain quickly appeared on the real-time hot search rankings, and even dominated the headlines of the day. At window 52 on the second floor of the Haidian District Government Affairs Center, when Ketuan Zhan, the legal person of Beijing Bitmain Company, was receiving the business license, a group of unidentified people snatched the business license from the industrial and commercial administrative staff. A source at the scene said that the number of unidentified people in the group was about 60 people, of which Luyao Liu was directing at the scene.
This is a skillful piece of news. It first leads readers to think that Ketuan Zhan is a victim, using 60 people to grab business licenses as the focus. The masses accused Jihan Wu of lawlessness, but ignored whether the government affairs center could have 60 personnel. As for Hong Kong Bitmain to have the right to appoint a representative to obtain a business license, this is a deeper level of thinking.
The follow-up report restored the real situation at the scene. Only more than ten people were present, and both sides were equipped with security personnel. Bitmain employees also broke the news in the circle of friends, claiming that Ketuan Zhan's bodyguard had injured Bitmain's authorized person, and said in a threatening tone, "Be careful!"
However, the subsequent plot reversal did not have much effect. Jihan Wu's reputation has been greatly affected. From a bloody soldier who rescued the company in trouble to a lawless criminal, it can be said to be a world of war. do not.
Ketuan Zhan, who succeeded in the first battle, began to counterattack Bitmain continuously. On the afternoon of June 3, 2020, Ketuan Zhan led a team to pry open the back door of the Beijing Bitmain office and formally occupied the deserted Beijing headquarters.
On June 4, 2020, Ketuan Zhan called on Bitmain employees to resume work and promised to expand the company's market value to more than US$50 billion within three to five years. After that, Ketuan Zhan began to contact employees by phone, trying to acquire the options in the hands of employees at a valuation of 4 billion US dollars.
Subsequently, Ketuan Zhan recalled Huawei's executives and issued a series of personnel appointments and removals. As of June 9, 2020, Ketuan Zhan has successively eliminated CFO Luyao Liu, and Wenguang Wang, the head of the mining center. Luyao Liu is responsible for controlling Bitmain's IPO plan. He also appointed Yanwu Ma as the HR director, Gang Ren as the head of the mining center, Yonggang Sun as the head of the supply chain, Ling Gu as the financial director, and Bin Zhu as the head of the mining machine business department. Bin Zhu is the senior executive of Huawei who was interviewed and left as mentioned in the previous article. During his tenure, he reduced Antminer’s 90% market share to 50%, and received a large number of complaints from miners. Internal employees once speculated that he might be Compete against the spies sent by the company.
In addition to recalling senior executives of Huawei, Ketuan Zhan also urged employees to return to work. They can receive a bonus of 10,000 yuan when they return to work on the same day, which is only half the next day. Ketuan Zhan showed a very kind side. Every time the elevator door is opened, Ketuan Zhan's hot gaze can be met, shaking hands, taking photos, and receiving money. As there is no personnel information, Ketuan Zhan does not know whether the person receiving the money is a Bitmain employee, and these people did not resume work the next day.
The effect of gentleness was not good, Ketuan Zhan began to force employees to return to work. Seeing that there are still very few respondents, Ketuan Zhan threatened employees through SMS, phone calls, EMS, emails and other harassment, issued multiple threats such as termination of contract, suspension of payment of social insurance, suspension of wages, and even used personal information saved by employees to form a group of employees. Domicile threats, requiring employees to perform "work handover", trying to force employees to return work computers, etc.
On June 10, 2020, the media revealed that Ketuan Zhan had controlled Bitmain's Shenzhen factory and prohibited employees from delivering normal shipments to paid customers, which caused difficulties in the operation of the Bitmain mining machine department.
On June 13, 2020, Hong Kong Bitmain, the parent company of Beijing Bitmain, issued a statement accusing Ketuan Zhan of signing a "Sales Agency Agreement" with the Ark Data Technology Co., Ltd. in which it holds shares, in an attempt to embezzle Beijing Bit's assets.
On June 17, 2020, the media revealed that Ketuan Zhan started selling 14,000 T17+ series mining machines at low prices.
On June 20, 2020, Hong Kong Bitmain officially suspended the supply of chips to the Shenzhen factory.
On July 13, 2020, in the "A Letter to All My colleagues in the Shenzhen Factory" released by Bitmain in Hong Kong, more details were added on the series of Ketuan Zhan's actions in June.
The legal person Feng Zhou of the Shenzhen plant is related to Ketuan Zhan. After being relieved of Ketuan Zhan's post, Jihan Wu flew to Shenzhen to have a long talk with Feng Zhou. Jihan Wu believes that Feng Zhou is the right person to manage the factory and help the company overcome difficulties, and decides to leave Feng Zhou to continue to manage the factory.
This wrong decision staged a story of a farmer and a snake. When Ketuan Zhan began to counterattack Bitmain, Feng Zhou was also quickly instigated and began to assist Ketuan Zhan in seizing customer machines and transferring 17,000 T17 mining machines in the warehouse. Hainan Continental Ark Data Technology Co., Ltd., which is held by Ketuan Zhan, sold them at a low price.
In order to protect the interests of customers, Jihan Wu had to make a compromise and paid the payment for some goods to a bank account controlled by Ketuan Zhan in exchange for delivery. However, after the other party received a payment of 109 million, the delivery stopped. On July 8, 2020, 5600 mining machines have been overdue.
At the same time, the factory defaulted on suppliers’ accounts payable as much as 200 million yuan. Bank acceptance bills issued by the factory, exceeding 36 million yuan, will expire on July 17, and more than 34 million yuan will expire on July 23. It is understood that Ketuan Zhan, after receiving the bank's dunning call, made it clear that he would not repay the loan, which would destroy the company and the entire group's credit in financial institutions.
7、 This is not the end
So far, the power struggle between the founders of Bitmain has been more than half a year. The office building already occupied by Ketuan Zhan is still empty, and most employees choose to work from home. Some chip developers returned to the office with the acquiescence of Jihan Wu and continued to maintain research and development to reduce the impact of infighting on technological iteration and competitiveness.
This giant ship that once stood on top of the supercomputer chip is crashing into the iceberg due to the madness of the former helm. Ketuan Zhan's madness and Jihan Wu's compromise made mistakes again and again. Bitmain tried to save himself many times, but was unable to get out of the black hole.
If the time goes back to that day in 2013, would Jihan Wu and Yuesheng Ge still choose to dial Ketuan Zhan?
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The deepest report: Bitmain's self-help history

The deepest report: Bitmain's self-help history
The original intention of this article is to let readers understand the causes and consequences of Bitmain internal fighting, but after writing it, I found that it is not so much internal fighting as it is a long history of self-help.
The story is very long. Let's adjust the timeline to the eve of December 17, 2018. That was one of Bitmain's most critical moments and the beginning of a series of subsequent stories.
1. Self-immolation In September 2018, Bitmain's financial department warned management that the company's cash flow has become very tight and operating costs must be reduced to allow the company to continue. The blockchain unicorn, which is valued at more than 15 billion U.S. dollars, is crippled in the run and struggling to break the corner.
In 2017, Bitmain made a profit of 1 billion US dollars In the first half of 2018, Bitmain made a profit of 1 billion US dollars Three rounds of financing, a total of 800 million US dollars Net assets should exceed 3 billion U.S. dollars In September 2018, Bitmain had tight cash flow and was on the verge of bankruptcy
A simple comparison, it is not difficult to see that Bitmain's ability to make money is incredible, and its ability to burn money is even more extreme.
How does Bitmain burn money? Do you pour cash into gasoline and burn it, or hire a lot of employees to stuff the banknotes one by one into the shredder? The actual situation is closer to the latter.
The following data can help readers quickly learn Bitmain's money burning skills.
At the beginning of 2018, the entire cryptocurrency market has entered a bear market, but Bitmain's monthly operating costs have been rising wildly. Operating costs have risen from 10 million US dollars at the beginning of the year to 50 million US dollars at the end of the year.
Large-scale expansion of the R&D team is one of the main reasons. The HR who once worked at Bitmain revealed that the company once hired more than 50 employees a day and nearly 500 employees a month. Even so, it was criticized for its slow recruitment speed. The cash consumption in this area is approximately $250 million.
Operating costs are just the tip of the iceberg. Excessive chip trial production can become a classic case of project management courses. Readers who pay attention to Cryptocurrency mining can easily find that Bitmain is still working hard to clear the inventory of Antminer S9 in 2019. As the co-CEO, Ketuan Zhan did not listen to the advice or even warnings of the Finance Department, insisting on the implementation of Excessive chip trial production, resulting in a large accumulation of inventory and tight capital turnover. Another CEO, Jihan Wu, once revealed that the loss of Excessive chip trial production to the company was approximately US$1.5 billion.
Large-scale expansion of the R&D team is one of the main reasons. The HR who once worked at Bitmain revealed that the company once hired more than 50 employees a day and nearly 500 employees a month. Even so, it was criticized for its slow recruitment speed. The cash consumption in this area is approximately $250 million.
The BM1393 chip incident is even more incredible. Chip expert Ketuan Zhan invested a lot of money on a failed chip, and finally failed again. From 2017 to 2018, Bitmain has failed Trial production of mining machine chips at least 4 times, including 16nm, 12nm and 10nm chips, of which 16nm Trial production failed twice, thus losing at least US$1.2 billion.
It is rumored that Bitmain still holds a billion U.S. dollars worth of cryptocurrency in a state of floating loss. In view of the rebound in the market in 2020, we will not comment temporarily, waiting for the correct answer from the cryptocurrency market. But the losses pointed out in the previous article are all irreversible.
2. Sole power
In September 2018, Bitmain's management realized the seriousness of the problem. It turned out that the company's money could be squandered. As a result, the management began to discuss self-help plans, and the most reasonable and effective way was obviously to lay off employees.
The probation period for newly hired employees at Bitmain is half a year, and the probationary salary is 100% of the official salary, there is no difference. Once layoffs are made, new employees who have not passed the probationary period will be the main layoff targets. The department managed by Ketuan Zhan will face large-scale layoffs. The layoff plan is strongly opposed by Ketuan Zhan. Bitmain can only temporarily abandon the layoffs and replace it with continuous reductions. For marketing and travel expenses, a budget committee was established to strictly approve every expenditure. At the same time, employee benefits, such as reimbursement of taxi expenses, breakfast supply, snacks and drinks, etc., have also been abolished, and even the tradition of giving employees 400 yuan worth of BTC/BCH every month has been stopped.
In the face of huge cash flow pressure, trivial savings is obviously of no avail. Soon, the management again discussed the layoff plan, and it has reached the point where it has to be laid off.
In December 2018, Jihan Wu began to organize all entrepreneurial veterans and business backbones to persuade Ketuan Zhan to agree to layoffs, but Ketuan Zhan still insisted not to layoffs. The persuasion process was very unsuccessful. After many meetings and intense debates, Bitmain executives were caught in a dilemma of wasting time with Ketuan Zhan.
In this process, the shortcomings of the dual CEO system began to appear, and the relationship between the two CEOs gradually deteriorated.
On the night of December 16th, Ketuan Zhan reconvened the management meeting, and more than 30 managements who were present were asked to hand over their mobile phones. At this time, Jihan Wu was on a business trip in Hong Kong and was busy with listing related work.
In the meeting, Ketuan Zhan's core content was three items:
(1) Bitmain cannot have two CEOs, only one CEO and must be Ketuan Zhan. Ketuan Zhan said that he met an old leader during a business trip. He hadn't seen each other for many years. The old leader suggested that the company can only have one CEO, and it must be him. Ketuan Zhan feels that this is a kind of fate, an opportunity given by God.
(2) Ketuan Zhan believes that the company's cash flow problems, the biggest responsibility is the inability of the financial department. To prove his point, Ketuan Zhan announced Bitmain's financial data at the meeting. In the evening, employees in Taiwan began to post messages on social media, saying that the company's capital chain was broken and the top management was split.
(3) If Ketuan Zhan is not supported, the option will be cancelled and the equity will be voided.
Hearing about this, Jihan Wu, who lives in Hong Kong, sent a WeChat message to the management who are attending the meeting.

https://preview.redd.it/c5cxea2lqid51.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3d6a0388408f6b8abe10648e5e4b7a3a5434c821
On the afternoon of December 17, 2018, Jihan Wu returned to Beijing to negotiate with Ketuan Zhan all night, and finally reached a consensus in the early morning. Bitmain co-founder Yuesheng Ge announced the results of the negotiations. Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan ceased to serve as CEOs, and Haichao Wang served as CEO. Jihan Wu voluntarily backed down and Ketuan Zhan served as chairman.
The "12.17 Incident" had a very bad impact on Bitmain, especially the disclosure of Bitmain's financial status, which caused vendors to start dunning. The loan that had just been negotiated with the Bank of Beijing was cancelled the next day. Jihan Wu's resignation as CEO caused an uproar in the industry, and it became a hot topic among Cryptocurrency mining, blockchain practitioners, and investor communities. The media focused their interpretation on Bitmain's series of incidents, and generally looked down upon its ongoing Hong Kong IPO, believing that the high-level changes had already signaled the failure of the IPO in advance.
On Christmas December 24, 2018, Bitmain finally began to implement the layoff plan. This long-delayed “correct decision” was achieved after a stalemate for nearly three months. The AI ​​teams in Beijing, Singapore, Taiwan, and Shanghai have laid off more than 50% of their employees. The Israeli R&D center was closed and Shenzhen New Species Technology Co., Ltd., which had been acquired for only ten months, was dissolved, and all employees were laid off. Copernicus, Bitmain's top blockchain development team, was not spared and was wiped out in this layoff. Copernicus and some of the laid-off employees joined the new company Matrixport co-founded by Jihan Wu and Yuesheng Ge, headquartered in Singapore.
3. Past events when starting a business
After the "12.17 Incident", Jihan Wu gradually faded out of Bitmain's management affairs and turned his attention to the IPO and new company. And this is one of Jihan Wu's major mistakes, he began to let Ketuan Zhan manage Bitmain alone.
In fact, as early as 2013, Jihan Wu planted hidden dangers.
Jihan Wu, an investment banker, was the earliest translator of the Bitcoin white paper. He began to get involved in the cryptocurrency mining industry in 2012. The disappearance of Kaomao and Nangua Zhang's ticket skipping led Jihan Wu to decide to develop his own chip.
In 2013, Jihan Wu established his own mining machine company. Together with Yuesheng Ge, who was only 20 years old, he found Ketuan Zhan, an integrated circuit designer of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to create the protagonist of this article, and later the digital Cryptocurrency mining giant, Bitmain.
Jihan Wu promised Ketuan Zhan that every time a mining machine chip was successfully developed, he would give some shares to the Ketuan Zhan team. At that time, the company founded by Ketuan Zhan was on the eve of falling apart. In order to regroup the team, Ketuan Zhan promised to share half of his shares with the team members. Unfortunately, this is just a bad check. With the rapid development of Bitmain and higher and higher valuations, the expanding Ketuan Zhan almost monopolized all the shares.
Like many startups, Bitmain encountered many difficulties in its early days, and many jobs had to be done by the boss. For example, in the chip design and production process in the second half of 2013, Bitmain was caught in a dilemma of insufficient funds. Jihan Wu personally raised funds and met with TSMC’s sales to persuade TSMC to accept the production needs of a start-up company. Jihan Wu also participated in the selection of the thermodynamic parameters of the heat sink in the Antminer S1.
In 2014, Jihan Wu discovered that this company was independently operated by Ketuan Zhan, which had huge problems. Forcing Jihan Wu to continue to participate in company management.
At that time, Bitmain's mining machine chips had just achieved a certain lead in the standard design process. Jihan Wu believes that the next step must be to develop full customization technology, but Ketuan Zhan plans to invest resources in the research of mobile payment chips.
Ketuan Zhan met a mysterious person from the Party Central Security Bureau who claimed to be able to manipulate the Party Central Committee’s decision-making process for the next generation of mobile payment cryptography standards, but this direction is likely to lead to the fact that Bitmain has just gained the lead in the mining machine market. Regained.
Jihan Wu said that as a graduate of the School of Economics, with a little memory of his high school stage and the knowledge reserve of a computer technology amateur, he retrieves various materials and papers every day, learns theories related to full customization, and goes to Ketuan Zhan conducts persuasion work there.
Fortunately, in the direction of full customization technology, Ketuan Zhan finally listened to Jihan Wu's opinion. Bitmain quickly integrated the technical experts from the United States and Russia introduced by Jihan Wu, which greatly improved the design level of chips and complete machines.
In 2015, Jihan Wu suggested that Ketuan Zhan consider the direction of artificial intelligence. But Ketuan Zhan is not here, he prefers the CPU direction. After staying asleep at night, coupled with in-depth analysis by the Bitmain investment team, Ketuan Zhan finally agreed with this direction. It is a pity that after the Tianshi Chen brothers made major breakthroughs in theory and practice, Bitmain officially invested in the relevant direction, and it was still a step behind.
In the two years from 2016 to 2017, Bitmain's business performance has achieved rapid development, becoming a unique super unicorn in the blockchain industry. According to Froth & Sullivan, in 2017, Bitmain Technology Holdings was the second largest fabless chip design company in China and the tenth largest fabless chip design company in the world, and the fourth largest fabless ASIC chip design company in the world, accounting for 74.5% of global cryptocurrency market share.
However, the huge crisis has long been buried in the early days of entrepreneurship.
Ketuan Zhan's decision on major directions revealed his weakness of extremely lack of business understanding. But every mistake he made was blocked by the company's core employees. His overconfidence in his management ability led to the gradual intensification of conflicts, and the management differences between the two founders became more serious.
4.The giant gets lost
The contradiction between the two broke out on December 17, 2018. Ketuan Zhan used extreme means to force the management to compromise with him by canceling the option, so as to achieve the goal of sole control of the company. Jihan Wu returned to Beijing from Hong Kong overnight and negotiated with Ketuan Zhan all night. In the end, the two resigned as CEO. Jihan Wu retired. Ketuan Zhan has the exclusive rights of chairman in exchange for the implementation of the layoff plan.
Jihan Wu's voluntary retreat has intensified Ketuan Zhan's management to do whatever he wants.
A Bitmain employee commented on Ketuan Zhan's management skills, summed up in two letters-SM.
After becoming the sole helm of the company, Ketuan Zhan quickly "rectified" the department in charge of Jihan Wu as the chairman of the board. He guided the sales of mining machines at the dinner, and pointed out that the sales performance is not due to the sales staff. Ability is strong, but the company provides opportunities. Take two sales leaders as examples, saying that if the company hadn't given the opportunity, they would still be losers. In addition, Ketuan Zhan also instructed the sales staff on how to toast and imparted the wine table culture and experience.
After the meal, Ketuan Zhan came to the conclusion that the quality of Bitmain sales staff was too poor, and Huawei’s blood needs to be injected to drive the company’s progress. Soon, the marketing and sales director from Huawei officially took over Bitmain, opening the era of brand premium for Antminer.
In order to further understand and guide the sales work, Ketuan Zhan asked to meet the customers with the sales staff. During the negotiation process, Ketuan Zhan had a heated discussion with customers on the issue of Chinese and Western medicine, and had also forced the sales staff to be able to ship 10,000 machines due to insufficient production capacity.
Although the requirements for sales personnel are strict, Ketuan Zhan has provided a lot of convenience for "Mainland Ark". In addition to selling mining machines at a more favorable price, Bitmain's mining machines are also hosted in Ming Wang at a higher price than the market price. Mine. It is reported that both Ketuan Zhan and Ming Wang are shareholders of Ark.
The new sales strategy of Huawei's executives has also brought very obvious changes to Bitmain. The self-righteous brand premium reduces the price-performance ratio of Antminer, causing competing products to eat away at Bitmain's market share. Later, Bitmain found that the strategy was wrong and started to cut prices, and found that the mining machine market was saturated and the purchase demand of miners had decreased.
More dangerous than the sales strategy is that the technical advantages of Antminer are being chased by competing products, and even overtaken. At the same time, the two mining pools under Bitmain also lost their first and second positions. The AI ​​business, which Jihan Wu placed high hopes and Ketuan Zhan personally supervised, became a laughing stock in the industry. Not only did it fail to make a profit, it almost brought down Bitmain.
Blindly introducing senior executives from Huawei to occupy important positions completely destroys the company's internal cultural foundation. The bureaucracy within Bitmain began to corrode from high-level employees to ordinary employees. Ketuan Zhan is not aware of this. He is still keen on recruiting Huawei employees, imitating Huawei's organizational structure and strategy, letting HR do sales and R&D personnel to do HR.
The organizational structure adjustment in October 2019 was the fuse for Ketuan Zhan to completely anger Bitmain management. This time, Ketuan Zhan completely marginalized Bitmain’s veteran employees, and suddenly promoted some of the “airborne soldiers” who had just joined the company to the position of person in charge, which caused the former person in charge to report to the new employees. The two managers who were originally equal The hierarchy becomes the subordinate relationship, the operation and development of different business lines are merged into a large department, the upward reporting process becomes more cumbersome, and the relationship between employees becomes delicate.
5. Headwind
On October 29, 2019, Jihan Wu urgently held a staff meeting. Prior to this, the legal representative of Beijing Bitmain has been changed to Jihan Wu, including the parent companies Hong Kong Bitmain and Cayman Bitmain. Jihan Wu stood in the lobby of Building 25, B1, announcing that Ketuan Zhan has been relieved of all duties. Any employee in the Bitmain Group shall no longer execute Ketuan Zhan’s instructions and participate in any meetings convened by Ketuan Zhan. If there is any violation, the company will demotion and expel the company based on the severity of the circumstances. If losses are caused to the company, the company will be held accountable.
Jihan Wu's speech is very long, which can be summarized as follows:
(1) Ketuan Zhan has been relieved of all duties. Also expelled from the original Huawei company HR Zhi Wang introduced by Ketuan Zhan at the end of 2018. Zhi Wang’s reputation on Bitmain was extremely poor and was ridiculed by employees as "nine thousand years" (In ancient China, the emperor was called "ten thousand years old", and the prince was "eight thousand years old." However, in the Ming Dynasty, there was an eunuch who caused harm to the country and the people. He called himself "nine thousand years old", meaning that he was only A little lower than the emperor's level).
(2) Ketuan Zhan's ability to control the company's option incentive plan has disappeared, and it is no longer possible to cancel employees' options at will.
(3) The organizational structure adjustment plan led by Ketuan Zhan was suspended.
(4) We are optimistic about the future of AI business, but the premise is that the main business can continue to make profits in order to support the company's continued investment in AI business.
In the speech, Jihan Wu also told employees the whole story of the "12.17 Incident" and bluntly said that the company is not in good condition. If no measures are taken, Bitmain is likely to go bankrupt in three quarters and he must come back to save the company.
At this time, Ketuan Zhan, who was on a business trip in Shenzhen, finally experienced the situation of Jihan Wu in the "12.17 Incident".
After the official return, Jihan Wu began to clearly point out the company's various problems in operation and management, and went deep into each business line to understand the situation. In the mining machine sales department meeting, employees spoke enthusiastically, reflecting on the difficulties and opinions encountered in the work, the marketing and sales director from Huawei asked with a surprised look, "Why didn't these issues be reported to me before?", and soon , The director was interviewed and "voluntarily resigned."
On November 2, 2019, Jihan Wu announced a salary increase for all employees. Bitmain’s last salary increase dates back to 2018. In principle, Bitmain has two salary increases every year.
On November 7, 2019, Ketuan Zhan spoke on social media for the first time, describing his hardship in starting a business, and condemning Jihan Wu for “stabbing a knife in the back”. At the end of the article, he also set himself a KPI for 2020, that is, the mining machine market share will reach 90%, and the AI ​​business will earn 1 billion.
But Ketuan Zhan's majestic plan did not make Bitmain employees feel emotional, but ridiculed him instead. Employees exposed that he insulted employees, advocated Chinese medicine, believed in Buddhism, drank in meetings, practiced Qigong...
However, there is less than half a year before the halving of Bitcoin production, and the cryptocurrency market shows no signs of recovery, which makes Bitmain management very anxious.
On January 6, 2020, Bitmain ushered in another round of layoffs, with a layoff ratio of about 1/3. This time the layoffs have caused many employees who have just increased their salaries to feel very grieved. On the one hand, they were looking forward to Jihan Wu's return. On the other hand, the compensation for this layoff was less than 18 years.
Ketuan Zhan, who has been unable to enter the Bitmain office area, once again spoke on social media and firmly opposed to layoffs. We do not need to lay off staff and we cannot commit suicide.
During the Spring Festival, Covid-19 broke out. Mainland China has begun to extend the Spring Festival holiday and advocate working from home. Under the chain reaction caused by Covid-19, most companies have chosen to cut salaries or even lay off employees. In the first two months of 2020, China's exports fell by 17%, U.S. stocks were broken four times in a row, Bitcoin plunged 40% in 24 hours on March 12, 2020, and crude oil futures fell by 300% on April 20, 2020...
Obviously, Jihan Wu can't predict, but this layoff seems to be the right decision again. In addition, from January to April 2020, Bitmain's revenue exceeded US$400 million amid the spread of Covid-19 and the collapse of the financial market.
6. Fight to the death
When Jihan Wu tried to get the company back on track, Ketuan Zhan was not helpless. On April 28, 2020, Ketuan Zhan finally rolled back the legal representative of Beijing Bitmain to before October 28, 2019 by repeatedly submitting administrative reconsiderations, and restored his status as a legal representative.
On the morning of May 8, 2020, a piece of news about Bitmain quickly appeared on the real-time hot search rankings, and even dominated the headlines of the day. At window 52 on the second floor of the Haidian District Government Affairs Center, when Ketuan Zhan, the legal person of Beijing Bitmain Company, was receiving the business license, a group of unidentified people snatched the business license from the industrial and commercial administrative staff. A source at the scene said that the number of unidentified people in the group was about 60 people, of which Luyao Liu was directing at the scene.
This is a skillful piece of news. It first leads readers to think that Ketuan Zhan is a victim, using 60 people to grab business licenses as the focus. The masses accused Jihan Wu of lawlessness, but ignored whether the government affairs center could have 60 personnel. As for Hong Kong Bitmain to have the right to appoint a representative to obtain a business license, this is a deeper level of thinking.
The follow-up report restored the real situation at the scene. Only more than ten people were present, and both sides were equipped with security personnel. Bitmain employees also broke the news in the circle of friends, claiming that Ketuan Zhan's bodyguard had injured Bitmain's authorized person, and said in a threatening tone, "Be careful!"
However, the subsequent plot reversal did not have much effect. Jihan Wu's reputation has been greatly affected. From a bloody soldier who rescued the company in trouble to a lawless criminal, it can be said to be a world of war. do not.
Ketuan Zhan, who succeeded in the first battle, began to counterattack Bitmain continuously. On the afternoon of June 3, 2020, Ketuan Zhan led a team to pry open the back door of the Beijing Bitmain office and formally occupied the deserted Beijing headquarters.
On June 4, 2020, Ketuan Zhan called on Bitmain employees to resume work and promised to expand the company's market value to more than US$50 billion within three to five years. After that, Ketuan Zhan began to contact employees by phone, trying to acquire the options in the hands of employees at a valuation of 4 billion US dollars.
Subsequently, Ketuan Zhan recalled Huawei's executives and issued a series of personnel appointments and removals. As of June 9, 2020, Ketuan Zhan has successively eliminated CFO Luyao Liu, and Wenguang Wang, the head of the mining center. Luyao Liu is responsible for controlling Bitmain's IPO plan. He also appointed Yanwu Ma as the HR director, Gang Ren as the head of the mining center, Yonggang Sun as the head of the supply chain, Ling Gu as the financial director, and Bin Zhu as the head of the mining machine business department. Bin Zhu is the senior executive of Huawei who was interviewed and left as mentioned in the previous article. During his tenure, he reduced Antminer’s 90% market share to 50%, and received a large number of complaints from miners. Internal employees once speculated that he might be Compete against the spies sent by the company.
In addition to recalling senior executives of Huawei, Ketuan Zhan also urged employees to return to work. They can receive a bonus of 10,000 yuan when they return to work on the same day, which is only half the next day. Ketuan Zhan showed a very kind side. Every time the elevator door is opened, Ketuan Zhan's hot gaze can be met, shaking hands, taking photos, and receiving money. As there is no personnel information, Ketuan Zhan does not know whether the person receiving the money is a Bitmain employee, and these people did not resume work the next day.
The effect of gentleness was not good, Ketuan Zhan began to force employees to return to work. Seeing that there are still very few respondents, Ketuan Zhan threatened employees through SMS, phone calls, EMS, emails and other harassment, issued multiple threats such as termination of contract, suspension of payment of social insurance, suspension of wages, and even used personal information saved by employees to form a group of employees. Domicile threats, requiring employees to perform "work handover", trying to force employees to return work computers, etc.
On June 10, 2020, the media revealed that Ketuan Zhan had controlled Bitmain's Shenzhen factory and prohibited employees from delivering normal shipments to paid customers, which caused difficulties in the operation of the Bitmain mining machine department.
On June 13, 2020, Hong Kong Bitmain, the parent company of Beijing Bitmain, issued a statement accusing Ketuan Zhan of signing a "Sales Agency Agreement" with the Ark Data Technology Co., Ltd. in which it holds shares, in an attempt to embezzle Beijing Bit's assets.
On June 17, 2020, the media revealed that Ketuan Zhan started selling 14,000 T17+ series mining machines at low prices.
On June 20, 2020, Hong Kong Bitmain officially suspended the supply of chips to the Shenzhen factory.
On July 13, 2020, in the "A Letter to All My colleagues in the Shenzhen Factory" released by Bitmain in Hong Kong, more details were added on the series of Ketuan Zhan's actions in June.
The legal person Feng Zhou of the Shenzhen plant is related to Ketuan Zhan. After being relieved of Ketuan Zhan's post, Jihan Wu flew to Shenzhen to have a long talk with Feng Zhou. Jihan Wu believes that Feng Zhou is the right person to manage the factory and help the company overcome difficulties, and decides to leave Feng Zhou to continue to manage the factory.
This wrong decision staged a story of a farmer and a snake. When Ketuan Zhan began to counterattack Bitmain, Feng Zhou was also quickly instigated and began to assist Ketuan Zhan in seizing customer machines and transferring 17,000 T17 mining machines in the warehouse. Hainan Continental Ark Data Technology Co., Ltd., which is held by Ketuan Zhan, sold them at a low price.
In order to protect the interests of customers, Jihan Wu had to make a compromise and paid the payment for some goods to a bank account controlled by Ketuan Zhan in exchange for delivery. However, after the other party received a payment of 109 million, the delivery stopped. On July 8, 2020, 5600 mining machines have been overdue.
At the same time, the factory defaulted on suppliers’ accounts payable as much as 200 million yuan. Bank acceptance bills issued by the factory, exceeding 36 million yuan, will expire on July 17, and more than 34 million yuan will expire on July 23. It is understood that Ketuan Zhan, after receiving the bank's dunning call, made it clear that he would not repay the loan, which would destroy the company and the entire group's credit in financial institutions.
7、 This is not the end
So far, the power struggle between the founders of Bitmain has been more than half a year. The office building already occupied by Ketuan Zhan is still empty, and most employees choose to work from home. Some chip developers returned to the office with the acquiescence of Jihan Wu and continued to maintain research and development to reduce the impact of infighting on technological iteration and competitiveness.
This giant ship that once stood on top of the supercomputer chip is crashing into the iceberg due to the madness of the former helm. Ketuan Zhan's madness and Jihan Wu's compromise made mistakes again and again. Bitmain tried to save himself many times, but was unable to get out of the black hole.
If the time goes back to that day in 2013, would Jihan Wu and Yuesheng Ge still choose to dial Ketuan Zhan?
submitted by paulcheung1990 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[Table] IamA CEO & Partner of one of the world's first legal marijuana stores (license # 37) in Denver, CO AMA!

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Date: 2014-01-01
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Questions Answers
Can anyone buy or do you have to fulfil certain criteria? I am from England so not looking to buy. Anyone over 21 with a valid ID (includes a passport).
How did you decide to get into the marijuana field. Were you doing this previously but illegally/frowned upon by the state? & Congrats on your license! I have been a patient since before medical cannabis was legal here. I have been making my own cannabis medicine for about 15 years now. I had a professional career in a corporate environment that, while sometimes challenging, was not making me happy. I was also a professional photographer on the side. About 6 years ago I decided to quit my corporate gig and grow cannabis/take photos full time. It was a huge leap and everyone thought I was crazy (left an amazing job running a great and successful company). Then the cannabis caregiving just basically took over. The demand has always completely outstripped my ability to grow our company.
Colorado here - what were your start up costs? How long until you were in the black? Are you happy with your decision to leave your corporate job and would you do it again? Hi Colorado, Wow, that is a large question. The "start up" is still happening over 4 years later. The industry is fluid and extremely expensive. My wife and I started the business with less than $75k (everything we owned at the time, and a bit more in the form of friends and family loans). Since, we have put basically everything back in. We didn't really get on payroll officially until about this time last year. I'm sure we have put over a million in by now (don't have actual figures with me at the moment and I try not to think about it to be honest lol). I am generally happy but there is a little joke in the industry that goes something like, "friends don't let friends buy/start a dispensary". It is the most highly regulated and taxed industry in the world. It is highly brain damaging. I could go on all day about the endless facets of compliance and how we get screwed at every turn. I also get to help a lot of people improve their quality of life, and when I see a patient walking after being wheelchair bound (among countless other similar stories) because I helped them feel better, it makes everything worth while.
What are some of the more ridiculous regulatory and taxation issues you have to deal with? I don't even know where to start on this one. We can't write off expenses like other businesses do. Up to this point, we pay 30% on gross sales. We have to put a tamper proof tracking tag on a package to take it from one room in our facility to another, then put a different one on when it gets there (all on camera). The regulations for handling heroin is far less stringent for that of cannabis. I could literally go on all day on this one, but it hurts my brain, so i'll stop now.
Wow that's ridiculous. All that for something you're selling for recreational use??? Hopefully that will change when the novelty wears off. Actually that was all for medical. It appears that the IRS is going to allow a few more deductions ironically for recreational (and medical moving forward). One more thing I forgot to mention is that we can't have a bank account. That is also expected to change very soon.
You better buy a bigger mattress. I hope so. So far we have chosen to employ more people and pay ourselves only slightly more than our highest paid employees. We would like to keep it that way, so for me personally, it might take a while to get there.
You say you dont have a bank. Does your store accept cash only or do you take debit/credit card payments as well? Did all your start up money come out of pocket or was/is a loan possible? Cash only. We have a cashless ATM. Startup was mostly out of pocket and was everything we owned (plus some family only loans)
Is there a real threat of you getting busted by the federal government?? There is a threat if you don't follow one of the 8 major concerns the feds said they have regarding our little experiment. If you are interested, you can read the DOJ memo here Link to www.docstoc.com
Has any of the state laws or discussions for store owners addressed the federal government issue? The feds decided not to sue the states to stop legalization and instead are taking a hands off approach as long as we follow some logical (mostly) rules.
What will you do if in 2016 someone gets elected president who says they'll prosecute? I will make a judgement at that time based on the political environment and the potential outcomes. In other words if I can, I will fight it. I doubt any politician is willing to go up against one of the only issues in this country with bi-partisan agreement.
This is much the same approach that was taken in Montana. However, they did raid a number of legally operating dispensaries and seize all their equipment and funds. Do you think there is anything place to prevent that from happening in Colorado? Yes, Montana law was a complete POS. That is why that happened. Colorado law is specifically tailored around fed concerns.
I'm finding the whole interplay between state and federal laws fascinating. What is the procedure if the status of your license is challenged (suspended/revoked) with respect to the cannabis in inventory that you possess? There is no policy that covers criminal liability that I am aware of. By It's very nature, I assume such a policy would be illegal. Such a policy would conspire to remunerate someone in the event they were prosecuted and it is generally illegal to profit from your conviction. I assume we are tested regularly by federal agencies for compliance. If I was the DEA, I would just try to purchase illegally from us, and I'm sure they do. It is no accident that we are still open, I am a serious stickler for the rules. If one's license is revoked, the inventory is destroyed, by the agency doing the revoking.
How's business been today? I was waiting for this one. We actually decided not to start selling yet. This is a very complicated issue, but in short we didn't want to screw our medical patients so we are building the back end first, that way the patients who really need it will continue to have the meds they need.
When did the devil's lettuce first entrap you in her smoky green web? A friend of mine and I found his mom's pipe and we took it to school. That was 4th grade. We smoked a bowl with matches and everything in a ditch on the school grounds (remember it like it was yesterday). Didn't get high, or get busted somehow.
How many people do you guys bust that are under 21? do you think more underage kids go for alcohol or weed? Before today we sold to legal patients under 21. Things are changing though
Will medical patients under 21 still have access to cannabis from your venue? Great question. This is one of the reasons we decided not to open today for retail sales. Lets just say we are working very hard at great personal expense to be able to serve patients under 21(due to regulations that require changes to the building etc). Some of our sickest patients are under 21 and we feel a responsibility to them.
I am glad you are taking that approach. Best of luck to you. You're forging the paths of history. I'm proud to have been able to converse with you. Thank you for saying that. It makes me feel good to know people actually care, because we really take it seriously.
What are the requirements to get your license? And what qualifies you to be a consultant? The requirements are very extensive, in the hundreds of pages. Just too much to go into here. If you are interested, check out Link to www.colorado.gov This is a start, but not all our regs. What qualifies me is also a large question. In short, I am a professional cannabis horticulturalist, familiar with all cultivation methods. I build solutions for any technique (soil, soil-less,hydroponic,aeroponic etc). I build closed loop hydrocarbon extraction equipment myself and have extensive experience (15+ years) making water and solvent based extractions. I have created and developed over 30 unique cannabis infused products. I have a mastery of cannabis law and cannabis specific regulation that I have gained through navigating one of the first cannabis businesses, through to legalization. There is more, but I'm not trying to brag.
What's your favorite method of getting high? Such a good question. I love to drink medicated hot tea. I make all kinds of tea blends with medicated sugar. I would be happy to tell you how to make it later if you want.
That sounds amazing. I wish there was a cannabis recipe site / book. How to make different edibles using weed. There is.
Where do you get the marijuana from? We grow it ourselves. We also have a licensed grow facility.
We grow it ourselves. We also have a licensed grow facility. Is it difficult to grow marijuana? To grow it, no. To grow a lot of it well, yes.
In your personal opinion, do you feel that marijuana is a gateway drug ? No I do not. Spinning in a circle when you are 2-3 and you become aware that your consciousnesses can be altered, that is the gateway to drugs. Everything else is just a drug and cannabis is one of the safest, most productive drugs.
Do you think there is any potential for marijuana dispensaries to grow into larger, public companies or do you think they will continue to stay small, local stores? There is absolutely that potential and we have felt the pressure of big money for a while in the industry. It will get even harder for small operators to survive now.
How exactly do you verify IDs? Will you be recording customer info off of them and turning that over to some agency? 1.We will verify IDs the same way a liquor store does. We will likely use a scanning device and will record the information for tracking purposes internally through an encrypted and secure server (HIPAA compliant secure server), That information is used to prevent a person from purchasing beyond the daily limit and to provide proof to any law enforcement agency that all sales were legal. There is no list tracking your purchases though that any agency has access to.
How will labeling/testing go as far as THC content... CBD content, etc? The state is also licensing testing agencies and we will be required to test or slap a statement that says its not tested on the product.
Will you be selling bottles of Advil at the register? I am aware of the story and no. It is interesting, however we make no specific medical claims and have no interest in advancing any specific treatment agenda without further study.
I'll throw my personal recommendation behind Advil+Weed, having tested it... very scientifically ;-D. Nice!
How can I manipulate my diaphragm in order to boof rips? Breathe from your stomach not your chest cavity. Just like an opera singer. Not sure what I mean? See this video Link to www.youtube.com that is all.
Video length: 4:20. COINCIDENCE? No way. serendipity achieved.
If I wanted to start a low cost of entry business in the industry, what would you recommend? I would recommend starting a satellite business that does not involve actual cannabis. Possibly, a nutrient, organic pesticide formulation, or maybe concentrate accessories. Sell the miners the shovels.
Are you a smoker yourself? I am an ent.
How stringent is the "seed to user" paperwork? I understand that CO is interested in tracking production so they are able to levy taxes on all the Recreational sales and prevent "black market diversion." Is there any legal framework for the distribution/marketing of imported (out of state produced) marijuana? We, here in Humboldt are very closely watching your social experiment as it unfolds... there are some strong proponents here for a Humboldt "branding" (think of Napa Valley as for wine..) of our product for market exposure/penetration. How do you envision that playing out for the overall future of retail sales. And in that same thought, what do we need to do to have "AOC's" enacted for some of our "heritage" production areas? Wow, great question. I love that you are thinking about an AOC for Humboldt and any self respecting cannabis grower should be proud of the contribution tri county has made to cannabis development and anxiously await that AOC designation to preserve those contributions. I would say it is the Mecca of cannabis, but my loyalty to my state will not allow it. Unfortunately it will be a while for those dreams to become a reality. There is an enormous legal framework to be built before that is possible. First, CA needs to legalize recreational use. Everything that follows would take me a few hours to write. I would love to expand on this question. Maybe I'll come back to this one.
How come I freak out when I smoke? How old are you? Be honest, this will help me answer the question.
21 but I only smoked a few times. I just get like dizzy and paranoid and like I guess hallucinate a bit. If you are over 21 it is likely just a bit too much, or is the wrong cannabinoid profile for your brain chemistry. Try taking one hit only (i know it's hard) and make it indica. I think you will have a better experience.
Same thing here. 32 y.o. Smoked like crazy before but now I get panic attacks. I know your not a doc but only Harlequin doesn't give me panic attacks. Would love your input as you seem to be an extremely intelligent person. How often do you ingest cannabis and does that only happen when you smoke it?
About once daily. Smoke, vape and edible (only cheeba chew and kiva bars) - not all at the same time of course. All CBD products except the Kiva as they don't have a CBD "model". Edit: sorry, forgot to answer - anxiety happens with smoking, vaping or edible. Ok, interesting. It initially sounds like you might just be taking too large a dose. What are you medicating for?
What is your take on marijuana vending machines? Link to www.autospense.com I am currently invested in the company that provides that machine (Endexx Corp.) and it seems like a good way to increase sales considering transaction times will be decreased significantly. What is your opinion on them? Do you think they will be worth the investment for a dispensary (3,000 a month to lease)? Sorry to tell you this, but I think they are a joke. They are waaay too expensive. On another note, I am proud to employ people and for $3k a month, I could support at least one if not two employees and their families. The vending machine mentality is destroying society and devaluing human interaction.
Who made the better law in your opinion, WA. or CO. & why? They are similar in many ways (which makes sense because in large part they were drafted by the same people). There are aspects of Colorado law that I prefer, for example it addresses more details of medical marijuana regulation along side retail regs. There are other things I prefer with WA. One might seem counter intuitive to some and piss some people off, that WA doesn't allow home grows. I think recreational home grows lead to diversion and will cause problems with the feds. There is a reason bootlegging is illegal, we have been down that road before.
How do you feel about concentrates? Specifically BHO wax? What percentage of your sales consist of wax or shatter, assuming you carry it? Has it driven down traditional sales? I was very hesitant to accept BHO, mostly out of ignorance. Well made BHO is a great and safe product and I love it. Concentrates represent about 10% of sales (additional sales, not replacement sales). I have made water hash for 15 years and love it, but I now have a great appreciation for other methods and in more recent years have become a solvent based hash maker as well. I actually manufacture BHO manufacturing equipment also and I'm working with regulators to create one of the first fully sanctioned closed loop extractors.
I read an article a little while ago about how Washington's legalization laws included provisions for extremely restrictive and unscientific thresholds of THC to constitute a DUI (ie: levels could exceed the limit many hours after any effects would have worn off). Medical users were pissed because because it effectively relegates them to be in constant pain or in constant fear of being charged with a bullshit DUI. How does law in Colorado compare? Similar. There is a 5ng limit and an individual is subject to a forced blood draw to determine that threshold. It is unscientific and an affront to the constitution. On the other side of the coin, I don't personally know anyone who has been prosecuted for that (and basically everyone I know ingests cannabis, including my mom).
Wow, doesn't that effectively negate legalization? Maybe it's a seldom-enforced provision, but the fact remains that it's there and just waiting to be abused whenever convenient. Hmm, maybe that's the point. It doesn't exactly negate legalization, it makes it illegal for cannabis users to have a drivers license.
I've heard there's some limits placed on how much you can get.. and depending on whether you live out of state or not.. do you think those limits will disappear once the tax money starts rolling in? Not for quite a while. The surrounding states would really need to legalize for that to change.
How do you deal with people buying marijuana for people under the age of 21? What about fake IDs? We just refuse to serve them. We have confiscated a few, but that is pretty rare. People are somewhat more afraid to perpetrate that fraud with cannabis than they are with booze apparently.
Is your shop name a witty pun? Hehe no. It is actually a pretty tame and non descriptive throw back to a time when we didn't want to stand out and wanted to be respectful. We are actually in the process of re-branding (still not a witty pun, just a more dynamic name)
So how do you procure your product? Can anyone get a license to grow and become your supplier or do you also have a license to grow it? Anyone with an existing medical cannabis business can apply for a licensed grow facility. We do have our own and grow most of our own product. We will purchase infused products, topicals etc, to sell to give our customers options.
Do you soil grow or are you strictly hydroponic? We are mostly "soilless" at this point (we mix our own soil blend). Its a proprietary mix that includes peat coco and some other stuff.
Do you think we will see a change in federal policy concerning mj before the end of the Obama presidency? The policy has changed, which is why we are being allowed to operate. More specifically, the scheduling of cannabis is a much more complicated matter. The policy has changed several times depending on what detail you are referring to, but I do expect even more change yes.
Are you aware that the Feds hold a patent on the use of cannabinoids? US Patent #6630507. Kannalife has been granted a piece of this patent as detailed here: Cannabinoid Patent Exclusivity Only Applies To One Condition Link to www.tokeofthetown.com. There are over 20 patents related to Cannabis. A site that had a list has been removed, and right now I can't find another, but they do exist and I have a copy (can post if interested). Do you think these patents will prevent regular people from using Cannabinoids for health purposes? I am aware of that and I'm not concerned at the moment. The more entrenched our industry gets, the harder it will be to exercise those patents.
In your opinion, what does the timeline look like to have retail marijuana on a larger scale than just Co and Wa? Who will be next to adopt, and will it ever be nationally legalized? Good question. Several states are working on legalization language currently and I would expect at least one or two to follow suit in the next two election cycles. Each state that implements successfully will grease the wheels for the low hanging fruit. We already wrote the basis for nation wide best practices and regs here, everything after will be a version of ours (good or bad). Nationally, it will likely become rescheduled and left up to states to regulate. I don't think it will be subject to FDA regs, but will be subject to federal licensing. They want another piece.
What was the most difficult step in making this happen? Trying not to work too much. There have been too many 20+ hour days and 100+ hour weeks to count in the last 4-5 years.
Typical pothead. Always working way too hard and focusing only on the job at hand. Story of my life. They said I would never amount to anything and asked, "where is smoking weed all day gonna get you?".
What are the laws regarding smoking in public? I suppose there aren't really tests they can run like a breathalyzer for alcohol. Will there be designated areas to use marijuana like bars? Smoking in public is not allowed and is subject to fines and civil penalties. Public is defined as public property, I can smoke a joint on my front lawn. Private clubs can allow smoking for private but not pubic access parties.
Can the Feds come in at any given time to take all your bud, money, supplies and shut down your store? Have you ever seen the Feds watching you? Technically they could, yes. I don't pay attention, I just follow the law and make sure my employees do too.
Do you think it's safe from a personal safety standpoint for your employees or owners to work the retail aspect of the business? What kind of security safeguards are in place like working behind plexiglass, having a locked storeroom and having cameras everywhere? There is some risk, as with any high profile retail, but we take every precaution we can. All of our employees are very aware of the possible risks. There are cameras everywhere and everyone that comes into the building goes though an intake process. There is a reinforced barrier with a bullet resistant bank teller style window to pass documents into before being let in the door, among many other things.
Any idea how much per gram? Just depends on what store. Basically in the $10-25 range at the moment.
Are you at a [69420] right now? LMFAO! Actually about a 3. Stress. (literally lights a joint) And without this AMA to distract me I would be up to my eyeballs in work.
You mentioned in another comment that you pay a ridiculous 30% in taxes, but you also grow the product yourself eliminating all the middle men taking their cut in the current, not so legal way, most people get their cannabis. With these two factors how do your prices compare to illegal street prices? Also, with legalization, will bongs pipes and other things of the sort still have to be sold "for tobacco use only"? Paraphernalia is legal here in CO, just not "open containers" in your vehicle (unsealed or resin laden, not in your trunk). I honestly don't know what street prices are anymore (no bullshit, its just been that long and I don't have a reason to know). But there are just so many products and options that the question is hard to answer.
How long do you give it before somebody decides to create a name brand grow company and sell pre-packaged joints (much like cigarettes) on a large scale? Its not possible with the current regulations.
How much money is in the legal pot-farming business? It is a multi billion dollar industry.
What advice do you have for someone looking to get a job or career in legal marijuana? Make an impression on the company you want to work for. Don't be just another resume in the pile, unless your specific set of qualifications is outstanding (which is rare and subjective). Don't be unrealistic about what you will earn. Most of us are just trying to survive and are not making much money.
When somebody buys from your establishment. What details are retained and or sent to the local or federal governments? Only the amount they purchased, along with all the other purchases, to track the weight. No personal info.
What is going to happen once all this pioneering and development of the industry makes its way to big tobbacco companies? I am sure they have a plan in the works to grow and sell marijuana themselves, just like their cigarettes, but lace it with addictive chemicals and carcinogens. That is just a myth. That will never happen.
Do you sell only buds/flowers or do you sell concentrates, wax, pipes/bongs, edibles, etc? All of the above.
What is the best strain in your shop? Congrats, by the way! Thanks! It is so hard to say. Each one is like my child and has it's own attributes that make it unique. I really want to answer with one, I. Just. Can't. I'll say AK48 (Pre-2000), Indica dominant, very medicinal, appitite stimulating and the first strain I ever grew commercially so it holds a special place in my heart. Hanis, Bred by a friend of mine and one of the best growers/breeders/people I know "Tierra Rojo", and probably Golden Goat, our cut is just so good, chunky and terpene rich, I love it.
How much, if any, concentrate can an out of state person purchase? Vwax or oil ECT.. 7 grams.
Do you guys sell seeds as well? Not at the moment, but we do breed our own strains. I have discussed it with the Dept. of Ag and When we are ready, we will.
How long is the line outside your store today? Surprisingly few people have addressed this. We actually opted not to start selling yet. It is a complicated issue, but we would have to take inventory from our medical patients to serve the general public. We are just not willing to do that. So while it is extremely disappointing and anti-climactic, it is best for our patients and our business long term.
How much do you blaze up? A lot.
Do you label your marijuana with the ratio of THC and CBD? If so, is your store going to sell any high CBD ratio strains? We do not label them, but are aware of the cannabinoid profiles of each strain. There are no testing standards here yet, so we will wait until we feel confident that we are giving our patients/customers good data. We also breed our own strains and trade extensively with other growers. We do and will continue to sell high CBD strains.
Do you think the price per ounce will eventually be reduced through competition? How long does an ounce last the average person? Also Sativa or Indica? Eventually yes. About a month. Indica.
I'm curious, is there formal and scientific documentation on the study of cannabis farming/agriculture? Or is that knowledge transferred orally? Orally, scientific and pseudo scientific (icmag.com etc).
This may be an odd question, but does your family know? Do they approve? They do know. My mother (very conservative ordained reverend) is my mmj patient. Some people judged, some were supportive. Most judged, and still do years later. Then there is jealousy and all kinds of other issues. My family is pretty dysfunctional so that does not help.
I heard 1ounce is fairly expensive (compared to getting it on the street). Is this true or false? Also, what kind of impact is this legislation doing to the prices, do you think the prices will go up, or down? Demand has gone through the roof and supply has not. Prices are very likely to go up and stay up for a while.
Would you consider accepting bitcoin? Yes if it were legal, which its not.
What is the scene now with "too many customers"?. I just mean our biggest problem is untapped demand.
Will I be able to go into medical marijuana stores that have already been open to purchase marijuana if I'm 21 but don't have a medical card? No, only the businesses that have been granted an additional "retail" license. So far there are about 180 applicants and 80-90 completed licenses.
I have a couple of questions for you that I hope you can answer. Would purchasing marijuana be about the same price between a medical marijuana dispensary and these new dispensaries? Of course, the quality has just about everything to do with the price, so lets compare two buds of similar quality. Do you think as years go on, there will be enough competition and product on the market that it will make prices of bud deflate throughout the state (or states if more and more obtain similar laws)? The rec product will be significantly more for the same quality. I have heard as much as $80 1/8 pre tax (35%) tax. The price will come down as supply ramps up.
Last updated: 2014-01-05 19:48 UTC
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