Zuoxing Yang, an. ex-Bitcoin processor designer and founder of the world’s fastest-growing crypto-mining chip designing company, MicroBT, has allegedly been arrested by Shenzhen police on charges of embezzlement. MircoBT is the toughest competitor of Bitmain.
Shenzhen Nanshan District Prosecutor recently seized Yang into supervision on suspicion of stealing funds from his client, with an investigation now in progress, as per a statement by the agency on Dec. 12. The report did not mention Yang’s affiliation with Bitmain or MicroBT, and the second Chinese character on Yang’s name was omitted, presumably in an attempt to hide his real personality.
As previously reported by Caixin, a Chinese news outlet, the arrest happened in October at around the same time that the co-founder of Bitmain, Jihan Wu, threw out his opposing co-founder Micree Zhang from the firm—with the value of money in question is at approximately $14,300 or 100,000 yuan.
Yang used to serve as the prosecutor design director for Bitmain and was a major architect behind the mining machines of the firm. However, he left Bitmain in 2016, due to rivalries and conflicts with the founders. Yang founded his own business a month after, which is now known as MicroBT—a Bitcoin miner.
Since then, MicroBT has faced a few lawsuits but succeeded in winning them all due to Yang’s tech-designing expertise. Reportedly, Bitmain filed a civil complaint against Yang in Xinjiang dated July 2017, accusing him of breaching his patented mining invention. Yang then replied by filing a successful petition to invalidate the patent ownership in question, resulting in the case being dismissed. He succeeded in using a completely different patent and make a much-improved version than that of which he produced for Bitmain.
Moreover, sources also told Caixin that since its launch, MicroBT has grabbed a significant market share of about 40 percent and is now just behind Bitmain. While Bitmain struggles to cope with entrants such as MicroBT—due to poor strategic decisions, it’s market hash rate reportedly went down to 66 percent this December from 70 percent in June, according to a study by CoinShares.
Furthermore, it can be said that even if Yang is tagged guilty, nothing much will change in regards to MicroBT’s performance and integrity. This is due to the absence of Yang with the company following the general design of the hardware—the Whatsminer 20 series, which had become a chart-topper in 2019 and seems to vend well in 2020 continually.