On August 6, 2020, Bitmain, the most significant Bitcoin ASIC mining rig manufacturer, revealed that it is delaying its shipments of Antminers. The three-month delay is a result of a leadership battle between its co-founders, Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan Ketuan drags on.
Bitmain shared the news on its WeChat account, which is currently in the control of Wu’s team. The announcement explained that clients who were about to receive the shipment of their orders in June and July, will have to wait until September and October.
This delay will likely inconvenience many mining firms, as Bitmain had taken pre-orders for its latest Antminer shipping as early as March of 2020.
The miner manufacturer has tried to ease any complaints from the postponement by promising to offer affected customers theoretical mining revenue for the delayed period. The repayment will be in the form of coupons to be cashed in on latter miner rig procurements.
Delay is a Result of Ongoing Bitmain Management Feud
As per Bitmain’s WeChat announcement, the latest delay in shipment is a direct result of external meddling over the enterprise’s operations.
As we had earlier reported, the feud between the Bitmain co-founders started last year after Wu expelled Zhan from the company and took full control of all aspects of the business.
Unfortunately for the Bitcoin mining sector, this isn’t the first time that alleged management issues have resulted in the delay of mining hardware shipment problems.
On June 11, 2020, regional reports disclosed that Zhan was barring deliveries of miming hardware originating from Bitmain’s Shenzhen industrial unit.
To make matters worse, news from July 25 revealed that 10,000 Antminers had gone missing or were “illegally transferred” from a Bitmain mine in Inner Mongolia. The disappearance of the mining equipment prompted Zhan to accuse Wu of taking the ASIC miners.
Whatever the outcome of this power-tussle will be, the effect on mining rig orders could be advantageous to Bitmain competitors.
Bitcoin Hashrate Remains Unaffected
Regarding the general BTC hash rate, mining operations are seemingly not experiencing any decline regardless of the latest shipment delays from Bitmain.
On July 13, Bitcoin mining difficulty, which is an indicator of how hard it is to compete for block rewards on the BTC blockchain, hit a new ATH of 17.35 trillion.
The upsurge in difficulty reflects increasing computing power being applied to mining BTC, implying that Bitmain’s main competitor, Microbt, could be filling the market gap with their Whatsminer state-of-the-art mining machines.