Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan, founders of the Beijing-based Bitcoin mining company Bitmain Technologies Ltd., welcomed another milestone this year. Sequoia and IDG have provided the company with $50 mln in funding to support the company’s goal of creating innovative chips for artificial intelligence, Bloomberg reports.
Bitmain Technologies Ltd. is known for its mining operations and claims that its own valuation is “in the billions.” In August it was weighing a possible initial public offering, although it’s not clear if it can go ahead with those plans now that China has effectively made ICOs illegal.
Bitmain also runs huge Bitcoin mines and leases mining power to other individuals and companies. In total, the company controls 29% of the hashing power that secures the Bitcoin network, largely through their operation of the mining pool “Antpool.”
With Sequoia and IDG funding, Bitmain will be able to continue their artificial intelligence projects. Bitmain’s upcoming artificial intelligence, Sophon, is set to challenge and compete with other tech giants such as Google, AMD, and Nvidia. The goal of Sophon is to train neural networks used in the expanding data centers in the world. Bitmain is looking at launching their own artificial intelligence before the end of 2017.