Bitmain Technologies Ltd., or Bitmain, is a privately owned company headquartered in Beijing, China that designs application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips for bitcoin mining.
It was founded by Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan in 2013. Prior to founding Bitmain, Wu was a financial analyst and private equity fund manager and Zhan was running DivaIP, a startup that allowed users to stream television to a computer screen via a set-top box.
By 2018 it had become the world's largest designer of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips for bitcoin mining. The company also operates BTC.com and Antpool, historically two of the largest mining pools for bitcoin. In an effort to boost Bitcoin Cash (BCH) prices, Antpool "burned" 12% of the BCH they mined by sending them to irrecoverable addresses.
Bitmain was reportedly profitable in early 2018, with a net profit of $742.7 million in the first half of 2018, and negative operating cash flow. TechCrunch reported that unsold inventory ballooned to one billion dollars in the second quarter of 2018.
Bitmain's first product was the Antminer S1 which is an ASIC Bitcoin miner making 180 GH/s while using 80-200 Watts of power.
Bitmain as of 2018 had 11 mining farms operating in China.
Bitmain was involved in the 2018 Bitcoin Cash split, siding on the side of Bitcoin Cash ABC alongside Roger Ver.
In December 2018 the company laid off about half of its 3000 staff. The company has since closed its offices in Israel and the Netherlands, while significantly downsizing its Texas mining operation.
In February 2019, Bitmain had lost “about $500 million” in the third quarter of 2018. Bitmain issued a statement saying “the rumors are not true and we will make announcements in due course.”