Who is Jihan Wu, and Does He Basically Control Bitcoin Today?

Jihan Wu is the co-founder of BITMAIN, one of most recognized and valuable bitcoin companies, and has come into limelight as a supporter of Bitcoin Unlimited, a solution to solve Bitcoin’s scalability issue. Jihan Wu founded Bitmain maintains AntPool which holds the largest hashrate distribution amongst mining pools; currently AntPool mines 16.4% of all blocks. This makes Jihan Wu highly influential in the Bitcoin community.


Bitmain was established in 2013 to develop and sell the world’s leading bitcoin miners using Bitmain's ASIC chip technology. Its initial bitcoin miner was Antminer S1 which was upgraded over time to match up to bitcoin’s “difficulty level.” In May of 2016, Antminer S9, the world’s first consumer-grade bitcoin and most power-efficient miner based on a 16nm process ASIC chip was released by Bitmain. The company is the proud owner of several brands, including Antminer, Antpool, and Hashnest, which are ranked number one in their respective fields. Bitmain is headquartered in Beijing, with offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Qingdao, Chengdu and Shenzhen. (Related reading, see: Bitmain's Data Center for Bitcoin Mining Is Nearing Completion)

Bitcoin Unlimited

Bitcoin blocks have a limited ‘storage’ capacity of 1MB since the beginning and under the current popular system of Bitcoin Core. However, Bitcoin Unlimited argues that the size of these blocks should be increased as it would enable smoother running by decongesting the blocks. Unlike the present rigid size of 1MB, Bitcoin Unlimited advocates complete freedom and flexibility to increase the size of blockchain and this will be done by miners. So, if there is a consensus on this, we will have a new bitcoin blockchain with large-sized blocks.

Opponents of Bitcoin Unlimited feel that increasing the size of blocks can result in a hard fork in the code which would split the network. They also believe that such flexibility can result in miners opting for bigger and bigger blocks – making it harder for miners with limited resources to mine, thereby concentrating the ‘mining power’ in the hands of few miners. Such concentration will essentially result in centralization which is opposite to the idea of decentralization which is core to bitcoin. (Related reading, see: What Is Bitcoin Unlimited?)

Jihan Wu has been aggressively pushing a hard fork and adoption of Bitcoin Unlimited but hasn't gathered enough support yet. The alternate solution to the problem, called SegWit or Segregated Witness, which doesn't require a hard fork is equally debated and no consensus has emerged. The mining pool support by proposal shows that Bitcoin Unlimited has about 40% support, followed by SegWit at 34% while the rest support BIP100 and 8MB Blocks.

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.