The wealth of bitcoin mining titan Bitmain has long been assumed to be north of “huge”. Thanks to its near-monopolization of the ASIC manufacturing business, Bitmain has effectively had a license to print money. This week, Bernstein analysts released a report into Bitmain’s operations. It estimates the Chinese firm to have made $3-$4 billion last year from mining cryptocurrency and for selling the equipment for others to do the same.
Big Bucks for Bitmain
Ask any serious cryptocurrency miner what brand of ASIC they use and you’ll be greeted by the same two-syllable reply. Bitmain isn’t just the main player in the mining game – it’s pretty much the only one for miners seeking to make a living from their trade. Bitmain is a controversial company for a number of reasons, including its dominance of the bitcoin mining game, which goes against the principles of decentralization. Its mining units are prized, however, for their robustness, effectiveness, and consistent performance.
If Bernstein’s figures are accurate, Bitmain pulled in the same amount as Nvidia last year. Yet while Nvidia is a household name, few people outside of the cryptocurrency space have even heard of Bitmain. Bernstein calculates Nvidia to have made $3 billion in 2017, but points out that it took 24 years for the company to attain that profit level; Bitmain has achieved the same feat in just four years. Neither Jihan Wu or Micree Zhan featured in Forbes’ recent Crypto Rich List, yet there is no doubt that Bitmain’s founders are very wealthy men.
Perseverance Pays Off
While critics may resent the stranglehold their company has over cryptocurrency mining, Wu and Zhan have earned their reward for starting their business when bitcoin was still unfashionable, in 2013, and staying the course…