Chinese mining behemoth Bitmain has strongly refuted allegations that it pressurized an ASIC manufacturer into shutting out a foreign competitor. In a widely shared blog post, Siacoin’s lead developer David Vorick lifted the lid on the cutthroat ASIC mining business. In a response, Bitmain praised Vorick’s input to the industry, but took exception to one particular section of his writeup.
Bitmain is a company of few words, preferring to let its ruthlessly efficient ASIC miners do the talking. It was stirred into breaking its silence, however, after an explosive blog post by David Vorick was published three days ago. The lengthy article contained a number of revelations and allegations about the cryptocurrency mining business, and Bitmain’s role in particular.
As we reported: “Siacoin’s lead developer repeats claims he has heard that “Bitmain plays dirty”. Vorick was allegedly told that Bitmain would use its power to stop other ASIC companies from manufacturing in China. Despite going to great pains to conceal Obelisk’s involvement in such a deal, the Chinese manufacturer backed out suddenly in a move that reportedly cost Obelisk $2 million. There is no proof that the manufacturer was leaned on by Bitmain, but David Vorick leaves no doubt as to where his suspicions lie.”
Not content to take this accusation lying down, Bitmain has hit back, retorting: “Considering the truly vast number and diversity of suppliers in China, it’s difficult to consider that Bitmain could possibly exert such powerful control over a competitor’s supply chain to the degree the article suggests.” Interestingly, Bitmain doesn’t outright deny the allegation, focusing instead on the fact that “six percent of Vorick’s total article is taken up with exploring these supposed dirty tricks.”
David Vorick’s blog post was a 5,300-word tour de force. Bitmain’s riposte, in comparison, runs to just 380 words, which provide just enough space in which to refute allegations of “dirty tricks” and the notion that “Bitmain floods the market with its mining rigs”. It’s curious that the mining company should choose to address this latter point, because nowhere in Vorick’s article does he accuse the company of flooding the market with rigs per se. He does though accuse the company of various other underhand tactics, such as mining with its own units and then shipping them once they’re no longer profitable, but Bitmain makes no mention of this.
As David Vorick acknowledged in his blog, it is extremely difficult to prove his audacious claims. If a large ASIC manufacturer was to conspire with a domestic supplier to thwart a rival, there would be no paper trail to go on. As a result, readers can only speculate as to who they believe is telling the truth: Siacoin and Obelisk developer David Vorick or Bitmain.
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