Jihan Wu

Jihan Wu (Chinese: 吳忌寒; born 1986) is a Chinese billionaire cryptocurrency entrepreneur. Together with Micree Zhan, he co-founded Bitmain in 2013, which has become the world's largest computer chip company for bitcoin mining, with US$2.5 billion in revenue in 2017. He is a leading supporter of Bitcoin Cash, a hard fork of bitcoin created in 2017 with increased transaction capacity. He topped Forbes' 2020 World’s Billionaires List as one of the five youngest billionaires in Asia.[1]

Jihan Wu
Born
Wu Jihan

1986 (age 33–34)
Chongqing, China
NationalityChinese
EducationPeking University
OccupationBusinessman
Known forCo-founder of Bitmain
Net worthUS$2.39 billion (2018)

Early life and careerEdit

Wu was born in 1986 in Chongqing, China. After graduating from Chongqing Nankai Secondary School, he entered Peking University, where he earned dual degrees in economics and psychology in 2009.[2][3][4]

After college, Wu worked as a financial analyst for a private equity firm. In May 2011, he discovered bitcoin and raised 100,000 yuan from family and friends to purchase 900 bitcoins. He and fellow bitcoin enthusiast Chang Jia (长铗) founded Babite (巴比特), China's first bitcoin community site. In late 2011, he was the first to translate Satoshi Nakamoto's bitcoin white paper into Chinese.[2][3][4]

In 2012, Wu invested in Kaomao (烤猫), a bitcoin mining hardware startup. Although initially successful, Kaomao later ran into technical difficulties and exited the business. He also lost his investment in another mining hardware company.[2][3]

Bitmain and MatrixportEdit

Having realized the importance of technical expertise, in 2013 Wu reached out to the microelectronics engineer Micree Zhan, whom he had met a few years before, and convinced Zhan to co-found Bitmain with him. In November 2013, Zhan developed Antminer S1, the company's first mining rig.[5] Sales soon took off, but hit a downturn in 2014 when fraud was discovered at the Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, leading to its collapse. In 2015, Bitmain developed Antminer S5, which became the best-selling mining equipment as bitcoin prices recovered.[5] Bitmain grew into the world's largest computer chip company for bitcoin mining, reporting US$2.5 billion in revenue in 2017.[4][6] In 2018, Wu owned 20% of Bitmain shares, and Zhan 36%.[7]

Wu has 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. After two years of debate between the two camps, a Shenzhen-based mining company called ViaBTC, which Bitmain had invested in, orchestrated a hard fork of bitcoin, creating Bitcoin Cash in August 2017.[5][8] Wu's critics accuse him of being the mastermind behind the fork, calling him "Jihad", a play on his given name,[3] but Wu denied that he or Bitmain had so much influence in the matter.[5]

In 2019, Wu stepped down as co-CEO of Bitmain and founded Matrixport, a financial services company for cryptocurrencies. To circumvent China's ban on cryptocurrency trading, the company is based in Singapore.[9]

WealthEdit

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 (US$2.39 billion), behind only Micree Zhan.[10] Hurun also ranked him as the 204th richest person in China.[11] In the same year, he was ranked No. 3 in Fortune's The Ledger 40 under 40, for transforming business at the leading edge of finance and technology.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

As of 2019, Wu is single and lives in Beijing.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Forbes Rich List 2020: The 5 Youngest Billionaires in Asia". Tatler Hong Kong. 15 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "吴忌寒:从倾家荡产到身价百亿只用了8年" [Wu Jihan: from penniless to ten billion in just eight years]. Sina. 4 January 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d A Lun 阿伦 (28 July 2018). "垄断50%比特币算力,比特大陆"矿霸"吴忌寒的发家史". The Beijing News. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Ambler, Pamela (17 August 2018). "All You Need To Know About Crypto Mining Phenom Bitmain". Forbes. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Wong, Joon Ian (20 August 2017). "China's Bitmain dominates bitcoin mining. Now it wants to cash in on artificial intelligence". Quartz. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  6. ^ "#311 Micree Zhan". Bloomberg Billionaire Index. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  7. ^ Russell, Jon (26 September 2018). "Crypto mining giant Bitmain reveals heady growth as it files for IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  8. ^ Harris, Ainsley (1 August 2017). "Growing Pains For Bitcoin As Rival Factions Split The Currency In Two". Fast Company. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  9. ^ Zhuang, Zheping (8 July 2019). "Bitmain Crypto-Billionaire Launches New Startup as Bitcoin Rises". Bloomberg. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  10. ^ "胡润研究院发布《2018胡润区块链富豪榜》". Hurun Report. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  11. ^ "2018 Hurun China Rich List". Hurun Report. 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Fortune The Ledger 40 under 40: Jihan Wu". Fortune. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Jihan Wu". Forbes. Retrieved 14 September 2019.