500.com acquires mining pool BTC.com from Jihan Wu
Chinese sports lottery service provider 500.com has acquired mining pool BTC.com, according to a press release from the company.
BTC.com is one of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining pools, with the same formerly owned by Bitmain, a Chinese mining company founded by Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan.
Reportedly, 500.com’s acquisition of BTC.com involved buying the company out from Jihan Wu with around 10% of shares from 500.com in a share transfer agreement.
The share transfer agreement was between 500.com and Blockchain Alliance – the parent company of Bitdeer Technologies, the parent company behind BTC.com. Incidentally, Bitdeer’s largest shareholder is Jihan Wu. The conditions of the agreement involved the transfer of the entire mining pool business under BTC.com, including its domain name and cryptocurrency wallet.
500.com was primarily an aggregator and processor of lottery purchase orders, before expanding its operations into Bitcoin mining more recently.
In fact, according to a press release dating back to the first week of February, the company recently entered into a purchase agreement for 5,900 Bitcoin mining machines worth approximately $8.5 million. Following this development, 500.com entered into another agreement to purchase up to 10,000 Bitcoin mining machines in 2021, subject to availability.
Assuming full delivery of the 15,900 Bitcoin mining machines, the company’s total hash rate can be expected to rise by approximately 1,000 petahashes per second (PH/s).
And, this was before the company announced its acquisition of BTC.com. Even conservative estimates would imply that the firm will be primed to quickly gain more market share from other top Chinese mining pools.
China’s dominance in the Bitcoin mining space has only grown over the past few years, with the nation accounting for 65% of the total hash rate on the network. Contrary to what most people believe, however, Chinese mining pools are far away from any kind of collusion.
Messari analyst Mira Christanto recently published a report on Asia’s crypto-landscape, with the same suggesting that individual mining pools in China are highly competitive entities that are extremely unlikely to ever work in tandem.