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China’s Shenzhen Police has arrested Zuoxing Yang, known as the CEO and founder of MicroBT, a Bitcoin(BTC)trade mining equipment manufacturer based in China. According to the city police, Mr. Yang has been held to assist the investigators regarding a dispute between MicroBT and Bitmain in which the latter accuses the former of exercising intellectual property infringement.
MicroBT is a technology company which is focused on different developments related to blockchain and artificial intelligence. It especially aims on creating newfangled integrated circuit chips for crypto miners.
Bitmain is a crypto mining giant based in Beijing, and it specializes in making crypto mining equipment too (especially for Bitcoin). The company alleges that Mr Yang, a former employee of Bitmain, has stolen the intellectual property of the company and integrated it with his current enterprise, MicroBT, that also specializes in crypto mining products.
Crypto Mining Clash: Former Executive Turns Bitter Rival
Mr. Yang previously worked at Bitmain as a processor design director. His main contributions to the company involved creating the chipsets for Bitmain’s premium offerings; Antminer S7 and S9 models. Mr. Yang subsequently left the company in 2016 and raised an investment portfolio of $20 million and started his own company called MicroBT.
However, soon conflict brewed between MicroBT and Bitmain when the latter started alleging that the former was copying Bitmain’s chipset design and integrating it into MicroBT’s crypto miners. Mr. Yang was first sued for infringement of patent back in 2017. However, he was able to rebound after successfully filing an appeal. Since then, Mr. Yang had not been bothered by the authorities with regards to the Bitmain-MicroBT case.
Another turn occurred a couple of weeks ago when the then executive director of Bitmain Micree Zhan was ousted from his seat of power by the board members of Bitmain without his consent. He was replaced by Jihan Wu, another co-founder of Bitmain. After assuming the office, Mr. Wu has directed the company’s efforts to protect its intellectual property rights. He has also warned employees of not making contact with Zhan or else they’d be fired.
While no one is certain why the authorities are once again in action against MicroBT, there are some speculations that it has something to do with the new CEO of Bitmain have abounded.
MicroBT has recently grown exponentially in the crypto world, as its market share was increasing, and it has been rising almost up to its top competitors such as Bitmain and Canaan. Mr. Wu’s aggressive stunts have shocked many, but he is adamant on protecting the market share of his company in the crypto mining industry.