Jihan Wu is a Chinese billionaire cryptocurrency entrepreneur. Together with Micree Zhan, he co-founded Bitmain in 2013, which has become the world’s biggest computer chip company for Bitcoin mining. Wu is a leading supporter of Bitcoin Cash, a hard fork of bitcoin created in 2017 with increased transaction capacity. He crowned Forbes‘ 2020 international’s Billionaires list as one of the five youngest billionaires in Asia.
After college, Wu worked as a financial analyst for a private firm. Jihan discovered bitcoin in May 2011 and raised 100,000 yuan from family and friends to purchase 900 bitcoins.
In 2012, Wu invested in the bitcoin mining company ASICMINER, one of the first companies that produced ASIC used to mine Bitcoin worldwide, co-founded by Friedcat. Friedcat later ran into technical problems and exited the business, even though, first of all, thriving with more significant than a thousand times of funding return given to its traders. Jihan Wu also lost his investment in purchasing hardware from another mining hardware company, Cannon Creative.
Wu convinced the microelectronics engineer Micree Zhan to co-found Bitmain with him when he realized the importance of technical expertise. The first mining rig Antminer S1 Zhan developed in November 2013. In 2014 when the fraud was discovered at the Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, sales hit a downturn, leading to its collapse. In 2015, Bitmain founded Antminer S5, which became the best-selling mining equipment as bitcoin prices recovered. Bitmain became the world’s largest computer chip firm for bitcoin mining, reporting US $2.5 billion in revenue in 2017. In 2018, Zhan owned 36% of Bitmain shares and Wu 20%.
Wu has been a vocal proponent of increasing bitcoin’s transaction power, which is restricted to seven per second due to the 1-megabyte size limit of bitcoin blocks, but traditionalists opposed the proposal. The mining company ViaBTC, which Bitmain had invested in, orchestrated a hard fork of bitcoin, establishing Bitcoin Cash in August 2017 after almost two years of debate between the two camps. Wu’s critics accuse him of being the mastermind behind the fork, calling him “Jihad” (a play on his given name), but Jihan Wu denied that he or Bitmain had so much impact.
Wu stepped down as co-CEO of Bitmain in 2019 and founded Matrixport, a financial services company for cryptocurrencies. The company is based in Singapore to circumvent China’s ban on cryptocurrency trading.
In 2021, Wu officially left Bitmain and had finally settled the disagreement between himself and Micree Zhan amicably. As a result, the cryptocurrency mining pool BTC.com and mining cloud service Bitdeer have separated from Bitmain, and Wu has become their chairman. Later, the public company BTCM buy BTC.com.