The founder and CEO of Shenzhen-based bitcoin miner producer MicroBT, Zuoxing Yang, is being held by Chinese police to assist an investigation.
The investigation is probably over charges of intellectual property infringement by the company identified with the innovation of its rival Beijing-based crypto mining tycoon Bitmain, as per one source familiar with the matter and close to MicroBT. The news was first revealed by Chinese cryptocurrency news agency BlockBeats.
The source affirmed that Yang was arrested by local police toward the end of October—after the unforeseen come back to Bitmain of Jihan Wu, co-founder of the company. Wu held onto control of Bitmain a week ago by expelling the Micree Zhan, other co-founder and then-chairman of the company.
Yang was previously processor design director at Bitmain, in charge of developing the firm’s flagship AntMiner S7 and S9 models around 2016. Notwithstanding, he left the firm and raised more than $20 million to establish MicroBT—which manufactures the WhatsMiner scope of mining devices—after talks with Zhan and Wu for investment opportunities failed to work out.
Bitmain has just sued Yang and his firm in 2017 over purported infringement of a patent that Bitmain was awarded for bitcoin miner-related innovation. Last year, Yang’s legal team effectively appealed to a court in China to have the patent repudiated, after which the case was dismissed.
The source said that now it’s not clear how and why a police examination has been opened over probable intellectual property infringement.
MicroBT has, as of late, been presenting an increased challenge to leading mining makers like Bitmain and Canaan, having developed its market share in the industry of bitcoin mining.