The latest in the Bitmain drama is Zhan Ketuan (Micree Zhan), now selling the world’s first 5nm mining machine to Chinese miners, according to local media channel WuBlockchain.
These new machines will be reportedly shipped in January next year, but bitcoin miners aren’t really keen on buying them. Not only do they require advance payment, but Micree is also suspected of selling problematic chips. Samson Mow, CSO at Blockstream said,
“Bitmain is now pushing 5nm chips despite ongoing quality issues for S17s. The TSMC 5nm process node is still too new, and chances of low yields are way too high. I wouldn’t touch these with a ten-foot pole – especially with the ongoing power struggle within the company.”
Filled with Issues
Not only, Bitmain’s past development doesn’t put much confidence in the new product; the supply of the chips is also under the control of Wu Jihan, who is managing the Hong Kong operations. Bitmain also has little production capacity, which means large buyers would be given the priority. Colin Wu of Wu Blockchain noted,
“Micree cannot obtain 7nm and 16nm production capacity, so he chooses to sell problematic 5nm chips. Although the energy efficiency ratio can reach 25-30J/T, serious problems may occur, and production capacity cannot be guaranteed.”
Micree is expected to hold a press conference on Sept. 17, and although the agenda of the meeting is not clear yet, the latest product is likely to be the drawing point. Meanwhile, the other co-founder Jihan Wu is accusing him of fraudulent acts.
And More Issues
Jihan’s public account released a statement where he reiterates that Micree has been removed from all the positions in the company and its affiliates and any agreements signed by him are subject to legal validity and major disputes. The statement further reads,
“Based on the BM1360 development experience, the first-generation official commercial 5nm chip BM1362 is still under verification. The test chip has not been obtained, and the tapeout has not been completed. It is even more nonsense to promise to deliver mining machine products based on the BM1362 chip in the near future.”
Even Foundry may not be of any help
Here, even their partner Foundry may not be able to help them as Mow said,
“Think of the foundry as a store with ovens, you’re just using their oven. If you suck at baking, you have to sell the shitty bread or eat it yourself.”
“Bitmain probably doesn’t know how to use (Foundry) yet.”
“The major players work with the foundry to fine-tune the process node for years and have experience. So Apple, HiSilicon etc are good. Bitmain, not so much.”
Bitmain officially announced its partnership with Foundry today, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which first reported on this partnership last month.
For crypto miners, obtaining financing is difficult, and this partnership will help them “ship a significant number of machines into North America this year,” said Su Ke, the global sales and marketing director of Antminer at Bitmain.
Management issues at Bitmain cost the company not only its customers but a position in the market as well. Their problems are also not coming to an end anytime soon; as a matter of fact, they continue to lose.
Recently, a court in China denied its appeal seeking $30 million in damages from the three founders of bitcoin mining pool Poolin.
While the mining giant claims Poolin’s executive broke non-compete agreements in starting their very own bitcoin mining operations that lead to a loss of millions to Bitmain, the court found the company failed to provide sufficient evidence for the same.