MicroBT founder, Zuoxing Yang, accused and arrested for embezzlement

  • Yang was arrested in October for reportedly embezzling an amount of ~100,000 Chinese yuan.
  • Before starting his own Bitcoin miner manufacturer firm in 2016, Yang was Bitmain’s director of processor design.

A former Bitmain processor designer and founder of bitcoin miner maker MicroBT, Zuoxing Yang, has been taken into custody by the local police in Shenzhen, China, on a charge of embezzlement. The ongoing investigation didn’t mention his association with MicroBT or Bitmain.

Caixin, a Chinese news outlet, had reported earlier that Yang was arrested in October and the amount of money in question was approximately 100,000 Chinese yuan, or $14,300. Yang worked for Bitmain as the director of processor design and was the main architect behind the firm’s mining machines. He left Bitmain in 2016 and started MicroBT, his own bitcoin miner manufacturer firm.

Sources told Caixin that since the launch of MicroBT, it has gained a market share of approximately 40% and is now the second biggest Bitcoin mining maker, following Bitmain. According to a CoinShares report, however, Bitmain’s market share by hash rate has dropped from 70% in June to 66% in December due to poor strategic decisions. It is struggling to compete against newcomers in the market like MicroBT.

Bitmain filed a civil lawsuit against Yang in 2017, accusing him of infringing on its patented mining product. Yang responded by submitting a successful request for invalidation of the patent right in question and the case was then dismissed.

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