Bitmain Drives for Transparency Ahead of IPO

ASIC mining behemoth, Bitmain has begun a public relations drive to reassure doubters about its commitment to transparency and openness. The enigmatic company has drawn plenty of criticism in recent years regarding its arcane operations, as well as its growing domination in the field of cryptocurrency mining.

Happily, Bitmain has pledged to release regular reports detailing the size and scope of its mining operation. The first (unaudited report) was released on 22 July which ‘revealed’ that its hardware was used to mine three algorithms: SHA-256, Ethash and Scrypt.  Unfortunately, no information is forthcoming about the cryptocurrencies being mined, nor how the hashrate is distributed.

A Denial

But based on Bitmain’s calculations, the company is only responsible for 4% of SHA-256 hashing power – this is sure to cause a few guffaws as well as howls of derision among critics who claim that Bitmain has majority control of other blockchains in addition to the Bitcoin network.

As reported by Crypto Coins News, the company and its pool mining subsidiaries do actually account for almost half of the BTC hash rate. However, supporters insist that as a mining pool operator, Bitmain merely dictates the block templates the pool miners must use.

Platitudes

The new ‘openness’ is not only about the company’s efforts to ‘increase transparency’ and ‘foster greater dialogue’, as breathlessly proclaimed on the website. No. As mentioned in our recent post about Bitmain’s planned IPO, there are plans to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) later this year.

This of course means full compliance with disclosure and transparency rules. That the ASIC mining specialist is hoping to raise $1 billion through the flotation might also be a tiny factor in the rather pronounced change of direction.

Xiaoping Theory?

Indeed, the reclusive CEO Jihan Wu, who’s usually about as transparent as a mud-pool in a monsoon, has been making more public appearances of late, conducting numerous interviews to extol the endless virtues of his rather sinister company.

This renewed exposure has also enabled Wu to fend off accusations that Bitmain indulges in secret mining operations with hardware that’s not available to the public. Dubbing the allegations ‘unfair’, Wu claims that his company has a ‘zero tolerance policy’ when it comes to mining with equipment that hasn’t been released for general sale, and only uses devices for testing purposes.

Similar denials were made regarding the claims that Bitmain purposely mines empty blocks (a shady tactic that increases congestion and accelerates disinflation) as well as assurances that any instances of such practices will be fully investigated. Well that’s a relief.

Gimme Some Truth

While there’s a great deal to be said about its cutting-edge development of ASIC hardware, Bitmain needs to improve the way it divulges information to a curious and rather sceptical mining industry.

The impending IPO has certainly jolted the company into action, but does this new ‘transparency’ represent a sea-change in how the company conducts its operations? Time will no doubt tell.

The content of this post is sourced from an article by Crypto Coin News.

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