Chinese cryptocurrency hardware manufacturer, Bitmain, made over $300 million in profit in the first four months of 2020. This news comes despite the COVID-19 outbreak and recent rumours about in-house problems, a recent report suggests.
Bitmain allegedly earns over $300 million, rewards employees with massive bonuses
According to the industry blog, Wu Said Blockchain, Bitmain announced internally that the company had earned over $300 million so far this year. Further, the mining giant reportedly regained some market share as it opened four new mining facilities and saw the hashrate increase on two of its mining pools.
Notably, the report mentioned that Bitmain’s Artificial Intelligence, or AI, business has also grown rapidly. The company entered the sector in 2018, planning to use its ready-made chip designs to power AI systems and software.
After a January report suggesting massive staff layoffs, the firm is now said to be rewarding its employees with individual bonuses of up to 70,000 yuan (about $9,900) on the Labor Day, which is scheduled for May 1. The bonus payments will amount to “millions of yuan”, as per the report.
New report contradicts previous rumours and legal problems
The new report might come as a surprise, given that Bitmain is considered one of the biggest victims of the “crypto winter”, and the upcoming Bitcoin halving is also expected to hinder mining profits. Along with the above mentioned job cuts, Bitmain experienced a noticeable market share decline in the second half of 2019. The pandemic has also reportedly undermined the mining industry in China, although a Bitmain representative has previously told that it prompted the company to explore alternate methods of working.
More recent problems for Bitmain include reports suggesting that its mining rig, Bitmain S17/T17 Antminer, has a high failure rate. There is also a well documented legal fight between two of its co-founders, Jihan Wu and Micree Ketuan Zhan. In October 2019, Wu ousted Zhan, who was Bitmain’s partner and chairman at the time, from the company. Additionally, Wu warned employees to cease any interaction with the ex-senior executive, threatening to fire those who disobey.
Since then, Zhan has filed two complaints against Bitmain and its AI subsidiary, Fujian Zhanhua Intelligence Technologies, attempting to regain his position as a shareholder. Bitmain believes that Zhan’s claims are baseless, and reassures that the results of the case will not have any impact on the company’s operation.