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Bitmain’s former Bitcoin mining chip designer arrested for embezzlement, report

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The founder of Chinese Bitcoin mining manufacturer MicroBT has reportedly been arrested for allegedly embezzling $14,339 (100,000 yuan).

Yang Zuoxing, the former director of chip design at Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain, has been in prison since the end of October, Caixin Global reports.

He is credited with developing Bitmain‘s wildly successful AntMiner S7 and S9 models.

The publication says the People’s Procuratorate of Nanshan district in the southern Chinese tech hub confirmed the charges in a notice on Thursday, but, failed to include Yang’s full name in keeping with standard practice.

Caixin says it’s confirmed that the man charged is MicroBT’s founder.

Yang reportedly left Bitmain in 2016 following a dispute over equity allocation with Micree Zhan, Bitmain‘s founder.

Then, in July 2017, Bitmain sued Yang for intellectual property infringement.

Caixin says the civil case was dropped but cites a person familiar with the matter who says Bitmain took the case further by reporting it to the police as a trade secret infringement case.

However, it’s not clear whether the embezzlement charges are related.

Published December 16, 2019 — 13:07 UTC