Jihan Wu is a Chinese billionaire cryptocurrency entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of Bitmain, which is the leading manufacturer of Bitcoin mining devices in the world. Bitmain has dominated the Bitcoin mining industry with its ASIC miner chips and, as such, has amassed Wu most of its wealth. Before Bitmain, Wu was an angel investor in Kaomao, a startup that produced Bitcoin mining hardware.
He was born in 1986 in Chongqing, China. Jihan has graduated from Chongqing Nankai Secondary School, later entered Peking University, where he earned two degrees from economics and psychology in 2009.
After college, he worked as a financial analyst for a private equity firm. Jihan and other bitcoin enthusiast Chang Jia (长铗) founded Babite (巴比特) - the first bitcoin community site in China. In late 2011, he was the first to translate Satoshi Nakamoto's bitcoin white paper into Chinese.
In 2012, Jihan Wu invested in Kaomao (烤猫), a bitcoin mining manufacture startup. Although initially successful, Kaomao later ran into technical difficulties and exited the business. He also lost his investment in another mining manufacture company.
In 2013 Wu reached out to the microelectronics engineer Micree Zhan, whom he had met a few years before, and convinced Zhan to co-found Bitmain with him. In November 2013, Zhan developed Antminer S1, the company's first mining rig. Sales soon took off, but hit a downturn in 2014 because of fraud that was discovered at the Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, leading to its collapse. In 2015, Bitmain developed Antminer S5, which became the best-selling mining equipment as bitcoin prices recovered. Bitmain grew into the world's largest computer chip company for bitcoin mining, reporting US$2.5 billion in revenue in 2017. In 2018, Wu owned 20% of Bitmain shares, and Zhan 36%.
In 2019, Jihan Wu stepped down as co-CEO of Bitmain and founded Matrixport, a financial services company for cryptocurrencies. To circumvent China's ban on cryptocurrency trading, the company is based in Singapore.