Bitmain's S9 architect jumps ship, possible signal of trouble ahead

Bitmain’s S9 architect jumps ship, possible signal of trouble ahead

As quickly as it rose to prominence, cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain has fallen. It has had an extremely rough 12 months and has had to shutter many of its operations this year as its losses mount. It was also forced to back out of its planned initial public offering (IPO) over financial concerns, which hasn’t left investors too happy, and the company still doesn’t appear to be able to find its footing. Now, the architect behind its S7 and S9 mining rigs is out, which could signal another nail in the coffin for the company.

According to Twitter user BTCKING555, who routinely provides the inside scoop on Bitmain’s activities, tweeted, “Sources say Dr. Yang who led S7 and S9 and left to start Shenma has better chip on 8/10nm node. Letting Dr. Yang and his team go was probably as dumb as selling all of the [Bitcoin Core] and going all in for BCH [Bitcoin Cash].”

If that is the case, Bitmain has lost one of its most important sources of talent. The move doesn’t bode well for the future of the company. 

BTCKING555 also made another telling revelation that could be a further example of the troubles Bitmain is experiencing. He said, “Breaking: TSMC [Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company] did not give Bitmain capacity! All given to 5G customers. There is nothing until Q4. Bitmain has ruined reputation and TSMC puts it in “low priority” customer list. Antminer 17 will be in very limited capacity – OK yield wafers perhaps 1200 at most! That’s peanuts.”

The move isn’t surprising, given that Bitmain at one point had an outstanding debt of $1 billion with the tech company. It took a year to make good on $700 million of the amount owed. TSMC has also reportedly run out of 7nm-capacity processors, which Bitmain needs for its rigs, because it sold them to companies that paid their bills—Apple, Huawei, AMD, Qualcomm and others.

Bitmain has been facing several lawsuits and is reportedly deep in debt. The company has allegedly been cherry-picking S15 miners, from a pool of 1,000, to try and show off its wares to investors in order to raise capital. That would mean that it doesn’t feel comfortable trying to impress potential investors with any of its new stock. 

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