The World’s Dominant Crypto-Mining Company Wants to Own AI
Even by the standards of Bitcoin, things are crazy in China. As the boom in cryptocurrencies has become the biggest speculative bubble in recorded history, a single company in Beijing’s Haidian District has been selling the chips that generate as much as 80 percent of the world’s cryptocoins. “We feel lucky,” says Jihan Wu, the co-chief executive of Bitmain Technologies Ltd., which was more or less unknown two years ago and, according to Wu, booked revenue of $3.5 billion in 2017. Cryptocurrency networks run on number-crunching, electricity-hogging “mining” technology, and to play in that game with any seriousness, you pretty much need Bitmain’s chips. And because it’s China, the whole thing could fall apart at any minute.
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