Jihan Wu calls himself a bitcoin evangelist in China”. He is a supporter of Bitcoin Unlimited, a solution to solve Bitcoin’s scalability issue. Jihan is a video game fan and prefers white T-shirts, jeans and sneakers to formal wear.
Let us take a look at 15 things you probably did not know about Jihan Wu.
Jihan was born in 1986 in Chongqing, China. He completed his schooling from Chongqing Nankai Secondary School and he earned dual degree in economics and psychology from Peking University in 2009.
2.Interest in bitcoin
Jihan worked as a financial analyst for a private equity firm after college. He stumbled into the world of crypto in 2011. He became obsessed and read everything he could about cryptography and monetary history. To purchase 900 bitcoins he raised 100,000 yuan from family and friends.
Jihan with bitcoin enthusiast Chang Jia founded Babite, China’s first bitcoin community site.
He founded 8btc.com which is one of the most popular Bitcoin news sites in China. In 2011, discussions about Bitcoin in the Chinese community were either too technical or somewhat pessimistic. Only few people were able to explain the fundamentals and value of Bitcoin well. The role to deliver that message was taken up by 8btc.com and that partly contributed to the leading position of 8btc.com, as well as Wu Jihan, in the industry.
4.Translated white paper
In late 2011, Jihan translated the famous Bitcoin white paper that was authored by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto into Chinese. He was the first person to do that.
Jihan invested in Kaomao, a bitcoin mining hardware startup in 2012. Initially Kaomao saw success but with time it ran into technical difficulties and exited the business.
Jihan also lost his investment in another hardware mining company.
6.Meeting Micree Zhan
In 2013 Jihan met cofounder Micree Zhan through a chance encounter on the street in Beijing, while Zhan was working on a startup to develop TV set-top boxes. They spent two hours discussing Bitcoin, and then Jihan proposed they start a chip company. Micree researched about crypto and then he finally decided to start a company with Jihan.
In 2013 Jihan co-founded Bitmain with Micree. It is China’s largest digital currency mining company which specializes in selling ASIC-chip miners. Their first chip was sold in late 2013.
In 2018 the first Ethereum ASIC miners was released.
8.World’s largest chip company
Bitmain soon reached peak and grew into the world’s largest computer chip company for bitcoin mining, it reported US$2.5 billion in revenue in 2017. As of 2018, Micree owns 36% of Bitmain, and Wu 20% of the company Bitmain.
9.IPO turned down
The company was looking to go for an IPO round for around $12 billion so that it could compensate for its lack of funds. An application was filed to publicly list in Hong Kong but the city’s market regulator and stock exchange operator were unlikely to approve initial public offerings for any cryptocurrency-related business, citing the lack of regulation in the industry, people familiar with the situation.
10.Mt.Gox fraud impact
The company was doing well and the sales were good but then in 2014 it hit a downturn when fraud was discovered at the Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox, leading to its collapse. The industrial crunch added to its downfall, there was a large-scale demolition of its mines, thus forcing the company of making harsh decisions of closing its branch in Israel and firing more than 50% of its staff.
In end of 2018 Jihan and Micree founders of Bitmain stepped down from their roles in the company as they both disagreed on certain issues as CEO’s.
Though they both are not part of the day to day activities of the company they make the final call on big decisions.
12.Accusation on Jihan
Jihan has always been a vocal proponent for increasing bitcoin’s transaction capacity, which is limited to only seven per second due to the 1-megabyte size limit of bitcoin blocks, but the proposal was opposed by traditionalists.
ViaBTC a mining company, which Bitmain had invested in, orchestrated a hard fork of bitcoin, creating Bitcoin Cash in August 2017. Jihan was accused by his critics of being the mastermind behind the fork, and even called him “Jihad”, but Jihan denied that he or Bitmain had any influence in the matter.
- In Hurun Report ‘s inaugural Blockchain Rich List 2018, Wu was named the second richest cryptocurrency entrepreneur in China, with an estimated net worth of 16.5 billion yuan
- He was also ranked him as the 204th richest person in China.
- In 2018, he was ranked No. 3 in Fortune’s The Ledger 40 under 40, for transforming business at the leading edge of finance and technology
- In 2017, Coindesk ranked him one of the 10most influential figures in the blockchain world.
Jihan founded Matrixport which is a financial services company for cryptocurrencies. To circumvent China’s ban on cryptocurrency trading the company is Singapore based. He is a major shareholder
He marshaled a group of Bitmain’s former employees.
Jihan Wu’s net worth as on 29th September 2019 was $1.5Billion. He is a self-made man.