Bitmain’s leaked pre-IPO investor decks show that Jihan Wu will not be the biggest shareholder. The company’s co-founder Micree Zhan, who is often overlooked by the media, owns a much larger stake with an estimated net worth of $4 bln.
Bitmain’s dark horse
In our mundane articles devoted to the biggest mining company in the world, we usually only mention Jihan Wu who gets all the media attention. While Wu remains in the spotlight, Micree Zhan, another Bitmain’s co-founder, actually owns a significantly larger stake of the monopolistic mining giant. According to a recently published Forbes report, the ‘dark horse’ of Bitmain is actually worth a staggering $4 bln, which makes him one of the richest entrepreneurs.
To put this into perspective, Bitmain’s pre-IPO documents reveal that Zhan will own 36.5 percent of shares after the chip manufacturer goes public while Wu will get his 20.5 percent. Bitmain’s IPO could realistically increase the company’s market up to $14 bln (U.Today earlier reported about the $35 bln figure), so quick math shows us that Zhan would have more than $5 bln in his pocket, which is bigger than the aforementioned Forbes estimation.
A secretive genius
Micree Zhan, the mastermind behind the omnipresent ASIC miners that have revolutionized the industry and elbowed out such heavyweights like Nvidia, doesn’t reveal much about this background. His LinkedIn profile doesn’t show any information about his education or previous job.
Forbes states that he graduated from Tsinghua University as a development engineer. Back in 2006, he started developing specific chips for digital TV that became quite popular in China. In 2010, he accidentally met Wu while trying to fund his new TV-oriented startup. After studying economics in Peking University, he later landed a job in an investment firm.
He encountered Wu again in 2013 when he directly approached Zhan to create Bitmain. Zhan had reportedly spent hours reading about crypto on Wikipedia before accepting the offer.
Now, they own the biggest crypto company that is on track to launch a historic IPO.