QWang Chun, the owner of F2Pool, the fifth largest bitcoin mining pool in the market behind AntPool, BTC.TOP, ViaBTC and BTC.com with 9.3 percent of the global bitcoin hashrate, claimed on August 30 that Bitmain sued a company he invested in for $4 billion.
“Haven’t got indictment from Bitmain, but earlier this month they sued a company I invested in & demanded $4 billion. Scared out of my pants,” said Chun.
Bitmain, the parent company of Antpool, the world’s largest bitcoin mining pool operator which controls 16.8 percent of the global bitcoin hashrate, and arguably the most influential bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer in the market, has been criticized by many experts in the sector including Blockstream executive Samson Mow and Alan Silbert for pursuing legal action against companies within the bitcoin sector and threatening startups with large-scale lawsuits.
According to Mow, in April, Bitmain employees also threatened LightningAsic CEO with “violence,” which Bitmain founder Jihan Wu was unaware of.
When Cryptocoinsnews reached out for comment, Bitmain declined to provide any statement on the matter. Understandably, if the company is pursuing legal action for a company invested by Wang Chun, it is not permitted to disclose details of the lawsuit. In contrast, even if Bitmain is currently not pursuing a lawsuit against the company mentioned by Chun, it is likely that Bitmain is refusing to comment on a sensitive subject matter that could lead to more controversy within the community.
In addition to the ongoing $4 billion lawsuit controversy involving F2Pool’s Wang Chun, Bitmain has also received criticism from Bitcoin Core supporters, the community and Bitcoin Core contributor Eric Lombrozo for its questionable actions over the past two weeks. According to Lombrozo, Bitmain has been mining empty blocks, which ultimately led to severe bitcoin blockchain network congestion and significantly bloated bitcoin mempool.
In regard to a comment from bitcoin researcher and programmer David Noriega on Antpool’s consistent mining of empty blocks, Lombrozo stated, “If this kind of thing continues I will throw my full support to a campaign to brick all their hardware.”
In response, Jihan wu of Bitmain said in a statement:
“[Bitcoin Cash] BCC / BTC mining together caused lots of error in the mining pools and empty block is a fall back security measure. It is solved now.”
In a previous coverage, Cryptocoinsnews revealed that bitcoin fees are likely to decrease significantly with the rapid integration of the Bitcoin Core development team’s transaction malleability fix and scaling solution Segregated Witness (SegWit). In an article entitled “Bitcoin Fees Are High, But They Will Decrease With SegWit Soon,” Cryptocoinsnews explained that bitcoin fees remained abnormally high due to several factors including the empty blocks from major mining pools like Antpool and instability in mining between bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Already, the size of the bitcoin mempool has decreased from 100 million bytes to 5.5 million bytes. Transactions are being confirmed with an average fee of 10 satoshis per byte, which equates to a fee of less than $0.1 with SegWit-enabled transactions. Despite the recent surge in bitcoin price to $4,740 and substantial increase in demand, the network is sustaining relatively low fees.
More importantly, as Ledger and Trezor, the two most widely utilized bitcoin hardware wallets stated, with SegWit-enabled wallets, fees will decrease by an additional 35 percent.
“Segwit introduces the concept of block weight which changes the way the transaction size is computed by splitting the signatures in a different area — you can typically save 35% of the fee paid when sending a transaction immediately,” said Ledger.
It is still not clear whether Bitmain did go through with the $4 billion lawsuit against a company invested by Chun. It is also not certain that Bitmain intended to threaten companies like LightningAsic in the past and if Jihan Wu’s statement on empty blocks are inaccurate. But, it is important for Bitmain to communicate with the community with more clarity to avoid controversy in regard to its operations, activities and actions.
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