TRON’s BitTorrent Incentive Scheme Aims To Boost User Numbers

bitcoin Altcoins

TRON’s BitTorrent Incentive Scheme Aims To Boost User Numbers

Blockchain app development platform TRON has announced that its recently-acquired BitTorrent protocol will soon launch no fewer than three incentive programs. 

Justin Sun Woos ‘New Audiences’

In a blog post subsequently confirmed by TRON CEO Justin Sun, BitTorrent said it would target BitTorrent and µTorrent users, partners, and associated ecosystems with tailored offerings to increase uptake.

The move comes just over a month after BitTorrent launched its Blockchain-based BitTorrent (BTT) protocol and associated cryptocurrency token. “With our three new incentive programs, we aim to bring a new audience into the blockchain community and make this powerful technology accessible within products that people are using every day,” Sun commented in the blog post. “What we are building will benefit a 1 billion computer installed base, businesses and active TRON and BTT users.”

Few concrete details about the schemes are available at present, with BitTorrent promising a full reveal shortly.

One aspect involves exchanges which have opted to trade BTT to allow users the chance to receive airdrops from both the TRON and BitTorrent networks.

bittorent btt tron

Battle Of The Blockchains

Principally, the companies explain, boosting the number of active users lies at the heart of the schemes.

As Bitcoinist reported, TRON’s intensive publicity efforts have not only focused on its own offering but downplaying the prospects of its competitors — notably Ethereum.

In January, data suggested the approach was capitalizing on an apparent lack of confidence in Ethereum, something Sun, in particular, has been keen to foster on social media.

At the same time, TRON has fielded criticism over its marketing and value proposition. In a December interview, Stellar co-founder Jed McCaleb went as far as to describe Sun’s platform as garbage. “Things like Tron, it’s just garbage. But people dump tons of money into it, these things that just do not technically work,” he told Yahoo! Finance.

Sun subsequently retaliated, arguing TRON’s volumes were orders of magnitude larger than those of Stellar. 

What do you think about TRON’s BitTorrent incentive schemes? Let us know in the comments below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Going the Milky Way: Carrefour to Use Blockchain to Track Dairy Production

Going the Milky Way: Carrefour to Use Blockchain to Track Dairy Production

According to a report by the Hard Fork, published March 6, 2019, French supermarket juggernaut Carrefour is set to deploy blockchain technology to track the supply chain specifics of its milk production.

Blockchain Goes the Milky Way

In an attempt to make its supply chain more transparent, Carrefour will utilize distributed ledger technology (DLT) to enable buyers to track the journey of its branded milk right up to its provenance.

Carrefour has begun rolling out Carrefour Quality Line (CQL) fresh micro-filtered full-fat milk in specially designed bottles with QR-codes.

Per sources close to the matter, buyers of the aforementioned product will be able to scan the QR-code to fetch details about its journey along the supply chain, including the location of origin of milk, the method and time of production, the GPS coordinates of the dairy farm the product came from, and even what the cows were fed.

Implementation of blockchain will also help consumers identify the various stakeholders throughout the product line. They will have access to the stakeholders’ names, photographs, their profession, and their livestock rearing practices. Further, consumers can also learn about the various quality checks producers perform during the production process and whether they use microfiltration to store the milk.

This is not the first time that the French supermarket giant has dabbled in DLT. The company has already begun using the emerging technology to keep track of movement of products like Auvergne chickens, farmhouse fattened chickens, tomatoes, eggs, and oranges.

The Answer to Supply Chain Obstacles?

An increasing number of companies have deployed or are in the process of testing blockchain-based solutions to keep track of their supply chain. The need for such robust solutions becomes all the more important for supply chains in the food industry where there’s a constant danger of the products getting spoilt due to unfavorable temperature, leakage, and other reasons.

On March 5, 2019, BTCManager reported that an Indian consortium of food companies has inked a partnership with an IT firm to make the beverages and food supply-chain more transparent and safe.

Further, on January 24, 2019, reports emerged how the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Australia had entered into a partnership with BCG Digital Ventures to develop a new blockchain-powered platform to bring more uniformity and coordination to the complex international supply chain systems.

Like BTCMANAGER? Send us a tip!

Our Bitcoin Address: 3AbQrAyRsdM5NX5BQh8qWYePEpGjCYLCy4

Binance Coin (BNB) Defying Gravity After Sovereign Backing

  • Binance Coin (BNB) price up 54 percent in last week
  • The government of Argentina is supporting blockchain projects backed by Binance Labs
  • Participation levels explode in recent days

Argentina is interested in blockchain projects and an accelerator program in conjunction with Binance Labs. They shall invest $50 in 10 different projects in the next four years. That is the confidence we need, and as Binance Coin (BNB) edge higher, there is an opportunity for traders to benefit from the recent uptick in demand.

Binance Coin (BNB) Price Analysis


On fiscal matters, Argentinians don’t trust their government. However, there is little room for blame. That should be laid squarely on the government’s shoulder. After several policy blunders that effectively wiped life savings pushing the country into an economic depression between 1998 and 2002, many prefer alternative forms of money. The Peso is plunging, and with a $50 billion lending arrangement with the IMF, the economy is on crutches.

Therefore, it is exciting news that in every Argentinean blockchain project that Binance Lab funds, the government through the Founder’s Fund and the Ministry of Labor, will sink $50,000 in grants. It is precisely what the community wanted and even a good sign of what is to come.

Perhaps, it’s a reliable indicator showing a rapid shift of trend where governments instead of swimming against the tide or rolling their sovereign backed asset like the already flopping Petro, are realigning with the general public and embracing the powers presented by public blockchains like Bitcoin. The $50k may give them a significant stake and make them money, but it is their endorsement that interests the crypto verse.

Candlestick Arrangements

Binance Coin

Coupled with other factors as Binance Launchpad and Binance DEX, Binance Coin (BNB) is pumping. To quantify, the coin is up the rankings displacing TRX and XLM as it registers 10.4 percent in the last day and 53.4 percent from last week’s close.

If anything, this is overwhelmingly bullish, and we expect prices to edge higher as demand builds. From a technical perspective, BNB is trading within a bullish breakout pattern. Because of higher highs of Mar 5, the path of least resistance is crystal: Northwards.

Bouncing off the 78.6 percent Fibonacci retracement mark on the coin’s all-time high low, recent higher highs seems to be like the release of a pent-up force. As a result, every dip (between $12.4 and $14) should be a buying opportunity, and the first target will be at $20 and later $26 as mentioned in our last BNB/USD price analysis.

Technical Indicators

In a breakout pattern, Mar 5 bull bar is significant. It has high volumes. And while we expect a retracement back to $12.4-$14 zones, any surge in participation levels could reinvigorate price action cementing our bullish outlook.

Leading Social Investing Platform EToro Launches Crypto Services in 31 US States

Exchange and social network for investors and traders eToro has launched its cryptocurrency trading services in the United States, according to a press release shared by the company with Cointelegraph on March 7.

The exchange, which — per the release — has over 10 million registered users, will start facilitating the trade of 13 unspecified crypto assets and release a cryptocurrency multisignature wallet to customers in 31 U.S. states and territories.

The wallet will support Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Stellar (XLM) and Ripple (XRP), and will enable users to send and receive the supported assets. According to the release, support for more cryptocurrencies will be added to the wallet in the future.

The platform also has a social media aspect; specifically, eToro allows users to allocate funds to automatically trade proportionally to the portfolio of another user. Furthermore, eToro also features its own “CopyPortfolios,” which are curated by the company’s analysts.

At launch, three such portfolios featuring crypto assets will be offered on the platform. Lastly, eToro also announced the launch of its own cryptocurrency exchange, eTorox, later this year.

In the release, the company also noted that it believes that all assets will be tokenized in the the future. Along this vein, Estonia-based digital trading platform DX.Exchange has added recently tokenized exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to its services.

In February, traditional finance Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, has joined the British Telecommunications (BT) Radianz Cloud broker community, which will allow the community access to the crypto market through the exchange.

South Korea Establishes Special Task Force to Prevent Cryptocurrency-Related Crimes

The South Korean Supreme Prosecutors’ Office (SPO) has announced the establishment of a task force to fight cryptocurrency-related fraud and crimes. The development was reported by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), one of the largest national public broadcasters, in an article published on Tuesday, March 5.

The new task force will be responsible for the investigation — under the SPO’s authority — of fraud, illegal money laundering, crimes and other illegal activities within the fields of fintech and cryptocurrency.

The decision to create a special task force is a response to the significantly increasing number of fraud cases and crimes related to the cryptocurrency industry, KBS reports. According to the country’s Financial Supervisory Service, the number of reported fraud cases and counterclaims related to cryptocurrency investments has increased nearly nine times, from 53 in 2016 to 453 the following year.

The number of similar crimes in 2018 received by the SPO is reported to have increased by 4,591 registered cases, real-time economic news outlet Money Today reported March on 5.

As Cointelegraph reported on Feb. 28, the Japanese police received more than 7,000 reports of suspected money laundering tied to cryptocurrency in 2018, which is a tenfold increase compared to the previous year.

Earlier last month, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority reported that investment scams, including those involving crypto, totalled 4,996 reported cases, and losses amounted to over $255 million in 2018, as Cointelegraph wrote on Feb. 6.

Former Iced Tea-Turned-Bitcoin Mining Firm Sells Beverage Business

Long Blockchain, previously named Long Island Iced Tea, has reached an agreement to sell its ready-to-drink tea business to Canadian firm ECC2 Ventures. The deal is documented in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) document filed on March 6.

At the beginning of 2018, the company had rebranded from Long Island Iced Tea to Long Blockchain, seeing a 500 percent jump in shares, noting that it hoped to raise money to purchase Bitcoin (BTC) miners.

In August 2018, the company announced that it had again changed its line of business — the initial iced tea business to cryptocurrency — and was going to also focus on loyalty schemes that also leveraged digital ledger technology.

The former iced tea company is being sold for a combination of cash and shares, and ECC2 is seeking to raise $2 million to close the deal. As Cointelegraph reported in April last year, Long Blockchain was delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq) for low market capitalization.

According to a report by Long Island news website Newsday, the company would get CAD$500,000 (equivalent to over $372,000) and 9.2 million shares of ECC after that company completes a share consolidation.

In August 2018, Long Blockchain Corp. had also been issued a subpoena by the SEC. During a filling around the same time, the company reportedly said that the subpoena, originally dated July 10, requested certain documents from Long Blockchain Corp. The company declined to provide further detail, saying that it cannot predict or determine whether any proceeding will be instituted by the SEC in connection with the subpoena.

UK Regulator: 3% of Consumers Surveyed Have Bought Cryptocurrency

UK Regulator: 3% of Consumers Surveyed Have Bought Cryptocurrency

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published two reports on consumer attitudes and awareness to crypto assets in the country. The research includes qualitative interviews and a national survey of 2,132 British consumers.

Also Read: In the Daily: Tokenized ETFs, Chainalysis, Binance Labs in Argentina

3% of Brits Report Buying Crypto Assets

The number of consumers who reported buying cryptocurrencies in the national survey stood at just 51. From this, the FCA estimates that only 3 percent of Brits have ever bought crypto assets. Of those who reported buying crypto, around half spent under £200 ($263) and a large majority of those said they had financed the purchase with their disposable income and not with borrowed money. 50 percent reported to have spent their money on BTC, 34 percent chose ETH, and 20 percent invested in BCH, LTC and XRP.

These findings could indicate under-reporting by cryptocurrency owners, some of whom may wish to keep their investments private, but the figure seems to have alleviated the fears of the regulators. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, commented: “The results suggest that although crypto assets may not be well understood by many consumers, the vast majority don’t buy or use them currently. Whilst the research suggests some harm to individual crypto asset users, it does not suggest a large impact on wider society.”

UK Regulator: 3% of Consumers Surveyed Have Bought Cryptocurrency

27% of UK Consumers Can Define Cryptocurrency

In its summary of the research, the FCA has intimated that some cryptocurrency investors are clueless and greedy. For example, it highlights the handful of interviewees who said they made their purchases without completing any research or due diligence beforehand, despite the fact that this is true of many casual forex and stock investors who do the same.

The FCA also tries to link cryptocurrency owners to “risky behaviors” such as listening to friends, acquaintances and social media influencers over the government’s warnings. Moreover, it notes that “many told the qualitative researchers that they were distrustful of mainstream media or official sources of information.”

Additionally, it highlights that 73 percent of those surveyed said they didn’t know what cryptocurrency is or were unable to exactly define the term. The term was most recognized by middle class and upper middle class men aged 20-44 years old.

UK Regulator: 3% of Consumers Surveyed Have Bought Cryptocurrency

What do you think about the findings of the FCA’s research? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, FCA.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

Avi Mizrahi

Avi Mizrahi is an economist and entrepreneur who has been covering Bitcoin as a journalist since 2013. He has spoken about the promise of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology at numerous financial conferences around the world, from London to Hong-Kong.

Unpacking Schnorr Signatures: Blockstream’s MuSig to Improve Bitcoin Transactions?

Following the launch of working code last month, blockchain technology firm Blockstream hopes to successfully develop a new multisignature standard for Bitcoin transactions in the future.

Alongside this, Blockstream also released its latest version of its Bitcoin scaling software c-lightning at the beginning of March, marking a busy period for the highly regarded development house.

Upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol

Historically, potential upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol (BTC) have been a big point of contention since its inception back in 2009.

Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin white paper is treated as something of a sacred text, and any changes to the way in which the technology works has been met with skepticism and opposition.

Nevertheless, the Bitcoin protocol has had its fair share of teething problems over the years due to a massive increase in the amount of users and the network’s ability to process transactions in a timely and cost-effective way.

Given that there must be consensus for any potential changes to the code, Bitcoin has been improved by implementations like SegWit, which has slowly rolled out over the past two years.

Any changes that aren’t agreed upon by the majority of the community have led to contentious hard forks, which have given birth to the likes of Bitcoin Cash.

Thus, any potential changes to the Bitcoin protocol take an extensive amount of time, research, development and testing before they can be rolled out to the wider community for consideration and implementation.


Blockstream’s new Schnorr-based multisignature scheme (MuSig) has been rolled out for public testing and feedback in order to create working, fault-free code in the future.

To the layman, MuSig is an improvement that could potentially help scale Bitcoin’s blockchain by reducing transaction size by improving performance and user privacy. The groundwork for this code was laid by Blockstream cryptographers Pieter Wuille and Andrew Poelstra, as well as Yannick Seurin and Gregory Maxwell, in a research paper released in 2018.

Just over a year later, Blockstream released working code for testing by the wider cryptocurrency community on GitHub in the hopes that it could eventually be merged into the Bitcoin Core code and other projects.

Schnorr signatures

Digital signatures provide a cryptographic proof that a transaction was authorized by the owner of a particular private key. Most individual Bitcoin users send transactions with one signature that comes from the owner of the private key of the sending address.

Multisignatures provide the same kind of cryptographic proof when there are multiple owners of a wallet. In this case, the various owners need to produce their own individual signatures in order to generate a multisignature that authorizes a transaction.

Schnorr signatures are a specific type of multisignature that provide a couple of important benefits. The name Schnorr comes from the creator of the multisignature algorithm, Claus Schnorr.

Cointelegraph reached out to Blockstream cryptographer Andrew Poelstra to get a better understanding of the intricacies of the proposed MuSig upgrade. As he explains, the algorithm provides a number of benefits:

“Schnorr multisignatures are one specific type of multisignature which are small (64 bytes regardless of signer set size), which can be verified very efficiently, and which avoid exposing the number of signers to the blockchain.”

The reason why this implementation could have a dramatic effect on how the Bitcoin protocol works is due to the current form of multisignature that is used today.

Once again, Poelstra explains that the current multisignature, Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), is simplistic in that it requires all signers to produce individual signatures that are then included in the relevant transaction.

“This means that for 2 signers, twice the blockchain space and twice the verification time are needed to process the transaction. If Bitcoin supported Schnorr signatures rather than ECDSA, this would enable several new technologies – most importantly, Schnorr multisignatures.”

For the network of miners that verifies Bitcoin transactions, these Schnorr-based multisignatures are identical to ordinary signatures. This means they are the same size and take the same amount of time to verify, but they are also more private.

According to Poelstra, they don’t reveal the original set of signers, or even provide the number of signers for a multisignature transaction. This should increase the anonymity and privacy of multisignature transactions.


Bitcoin currently uses the ECDSA signature algorithm to verify ownership and transfer of BTC on the blockchain. As Blockstream explained in their original announcement, the ECDSA signature has a number of limitations.

The biggest concern is the difficulty of creating multisignatures using ECDSA due to the complexity of the structure of the signatures produced.

Blockstream’s main concern with ECDSA and other current multisignature schemes is that they assume signers of transactions have control of how and when their keys are generated and that they have a reliable and secure memory.

In reality, many Bitcoin users don’t have access to their keys and how they are generated, and they also have no control over third parties and how they use the keys. Blockchain’s proposed MuSig scheme hopes to address this in two ways.

Firstly, MuSig creates short, consistently sized signatures that look the same to verifiers, no matter how many signers are involved. This aims for efficiency, by relieving the burden of signer details while maintaining security.

Secondly, MuSig wants to provide provable security using plain public keys. They are aiming to give signers flexibility in the way they produce and provide multisignatures to transactions without having to provide extra information on how the keys were produced.

It is noted that this is still an area of difficulty when it comes to Bitcoin key generation due to the variety of key management policies in the ecosystem.

Extensive testing needed

While Blockstream hopes to provide a workable solution to improved multisignature transactions, they are under no illusion of the challenges of doing so.

Ensuring the security of multisignature transactions is far more complicated, as it cannot simply use the same hashing method to ensure uniform randomness of signatures through cryptographic hashing.

Subsequent signers of a multisignature transaction could use other signers’ “nonce” (a hashed number that can only be used once in a cryptographic transaction) for more than one signature.

The current solution is to use a session ID for a signing session of a multisignature transaction, which is a temporary one until Blockstream develops a more robust solution.

Replay attacks are still a concern for multisiganture transactions, given the number of steps involved in verifying a transactions that requires signatures from multiple participants.

Considering all of this, Poelstra tells Cointelegraph that the security of Schnorr signatures and their use in MuSig is not a concern:

“Schnorr signatures are algebraically simple to reason about, and provably secure under the same cryptographic assumptions that underlie ECDSA. Of course, as with any proposed change to Bitcoin, the introduction of Schnorr signatures would require a substantial amount of testing and review.”

The way forward

Putting a timeline on the testing and potential implementation of MuSig is not a straightforward concept. Given the complexity of ensuring the security and efficacy of multisignature transactions, a working and trustable solution will take a considerable amount of time to produce.

As Poelstra explains, developing and implementing MuSig will require collaboration with the wider Bitcoin community:

“The first step is putting together a concrete, specific proposal, and sending this to the bitcoin-dev mailing list for community review. The review process will likely take many months, during which time the proposal could undergo many changes. In parallel to this, and continuing afterward, code needs to be written, tested and reviewed. The software then needs to be widely deployed before the changes can be activated. It is hard to say how long this entire process will take.”

In the event that the code is approved and implemented by the wider Bitcoin community, it won’t be necessary to undergo any sort of hard fork to implement changes, according to Poelstra:

“The introduction of Segwit in 2017 also introduced a versioning mechanism for changes to Bitcoin Script (such as the introduction of new signature schemes), which allows such upgrades to happen in a softfork. Prior to Segwit it would also have been possible to introduce Schnorr signatures in a softfork, though with more engineering effort to ensure a smooth transition as users update at different times.”

The wider Bitcoin development community is being encouraged to test Blockstream’s code on GitHub in order to facilitate the development of fully usable code in the next few months and years.

Malta Digital Exchange Relocates to Malta Stock Exchange Premises

Malta Digital Exchange Relocates to Malta Stock Exchange Premises

The relocation of Malta Digital Exchange (MDX) to the premises of the Malta Stock Exchange shows the country’s commitment to remain at the forefront of the blockchain industry. The goal of the initiative is to boost efficiency and reduce the costs associated with blockchain-based stock trading, as reported in a  March 5, 2019 Times of Malta publication.

Location Location

Reportedly, the decision to move to the new premises was informed by the firm’s desire to create the “world’s premier security and virtual financial asset exchange” at what has been referred to as “the blockchain island” due to the accomodating regulatory environment for related activities.

According to the report, MDX is in the process of acquiring a securities license that will enable it to promote a multilateral trading platform with the aim of introducing a secondary market for digital asset trading. Commenting about the move, Founder and Chief Executive Director of MDX, Rick Klink, said:

“The move to the Maltese Stock Exchange means that we are now physically positioned to be at the heart of the next wave of institutional financial innovation.”

The MDX  plans to leverage on Paritech technology, a high-level Fintech firm. Paritech has specialized in the development and integration of affordable, low touch, stock market brokerage systems, which are specifically designed for professional, high-level B2B clients.

These businesses require state-of-the-art solutions that allow them to execute low-cost deliveries whilst extensively using APIs. The company, which is the brainchild of Rick Klink, has an annual trade volume of USD 35 billion. He further stated:

“Malta is at the forefront of the regulatory framework for blockchain regulation and the perfect launch pad for MDX’s institutional-grade platform.”

Problem Areas

The decision to relocate to the new premises comes hot on the heels of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) statement that pointed out some critical gaps at the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) in its supervision of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and its war against financial terrorism earlier in the month.

The IMF, while delivering its Financial System Stability Assessment Report, recommended the use of more resources towards the supervision of blockchain and cryptocurrency service providers. The international body also emphasized on the need for heightened screening procedures for beneficiary owner information as well as monitoring of risk-sensitive accounts without forgetting the trending technologies such as e-gaming and digital assets.  The report stated:

“Containing financial integrity risks is critical to financial stability. A multi-prong approach is needed to address AML/CFT deficiencies. Enhancing the AML/CFT system is required to protect the financial sector and the broader economy from the ML/TF [money laundering/terrorism financing] threats.”

Earlier this month BTCmanager reported that several financial firms and legal companies had told the Times of Malta that some banks were turning down their applications to open bank accounts. As per the report, the banks were unable to differentiate between blockchain and digital currencies even though the two are not necessarily related.

Like BTCMANAGER? Send us a tip!

Our Bitcoin Address: 3AbQrAyRsdM5NX5BQh8qWYePEpGjCYLCy4

Ex-Bitmain Bitcoin Cash Staffers Form Startup to Lend and Trade Crypto

Former employees of cryptocurrency mining and manufacturing giant Bitmain who focused on bitcoin cash development are planning a new startup that will offer crypto financing-related services, CoinDesk has learned.

According to two sources with knowledge of the matter, the former employees include those from the mining giant’s Copernicus project that was impacted by a company-wide layoff last year.

The sources said the former Bitmain team members are planning to launch a new firm that will provide services such as cryptocurrency custody, over-the-counter (OTC) trading and crypto lending.

One of the sources said it’s known in the industry that there have been two camps inside Bitmain – one aligned with co-founder Jihan Wu that focuses on blockchain and bitcoin cash development and the other with co-founder Micree Zhan that designs crypto mining chips.

And the team forming the new startup mostly comes from Wu’s old crew, the source added, including those from Copernicus, a project Bitmain rolled out in 2018 to boost development for bitcoin cash and the wormhole protocol. The project has had no technical updates on Github since December of last year amid the company-wide layoffs.

It is unclear how many former Bitmain employees will be involved in the new venture at this stage. A second source told CoinDesk it may also have the name of Yuesheng Ge, a major shareholder of Bitmain, on the new firm’s incorporation paper, but not Wu’s name. And the first source indicated it’s known that Ge has long been aligned with Wu in Bitmain’s operations.

A Chinese media outlet previously reported that former Bitmain employees are launching a new startup called Matrix but did not provide details about what the firm aims to do. The report also said Wu may take charge of the project in the future while Ge will serve as the new company’s CEO in the meantime. 

A spokesperson for Bitmain said “no comment” when contacted by CoinDesk regarding the former staff’s plan and potential involvement of the company’s two major shareholders, Ge and Wu. However, the spokesperson said Wu will not be leaving Bitmain. 

IPO pending

According to the initial public offering prospectus (IPO) Bitmain filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on Sept. 26, 2018, Ge owns about four percent of the firm’s total shares and was listed as an executive director of the board and principal of investment. 

In November, a business registration change indicated Ge and Wu had both left the board of Beijing Bitmain Technology, a subsidiary of BitMain Technology Holding Limited, the entity that’s applying for the IPO.

Another source familiar with Bitmain’s IPO process told CoinDesk that when the firm updated its financials with the HKEX in recent months, Ge remained as an executive director and there was no change to the positions of Wu and Zhan as the company’s co-CEOs.

But this source added that if Bitmain’s holding company disclosed any substantial change to its management, its IPO would almost certainly fail since the HKEX has a clear requirement for a listing applicant to maintain management continuity during its track record.

If Bitmain does not graduate to a listing hearing by March 26, six months from the initial filing, its IPO application will lapse. This has already happened for two of its mining rivals, Canaan Creative and Ebang, although the latter has filed a new application.

The HKEX is said to be reluctant to approve IPOs for these firms due to questions about the sustainability of the mining business.  

Jihan Wu image via CoinDesk archive