Bitmain Sues Ex-Employees Over Non-compete

Leading Bitcoin mining equipment maker Bitmain, is suing three of its former employees for having allegedly violated a non-compete clause in their employment contract. Apparently, their backing of competing mining pool Poolin has triggered Bitmain to move the court on this matter.

The company is looking to recoup 4.3 million US dollars as damages through its claim that the three co-founders of Poolin had clearly violated the non-compete clause in their respective contracts. However, the defendants are of the view that the non-compete clause ceased to be of effect when Bitmain failed to pay them their salaries within the contractually stipulated time frame.

Bitmain, which also controls, is currently the largest mining pool in operation, which allows individual miners to pool together their mining capacities to mine blocks more easily and effectively. Then the Bitcoin block rewards are divided appropriately between the pool members. The Bitcoin mining aspect accounts for a large chunk of the firm’s revenues. In fact, it led to the firm earning 43.2 million US dollars last year. In comparison, hardware sales during that period brought in just 2.7 million US dollars in revenue.

The three co-founders of Poolin who have been sued had already filed their own preemptive lawsuits in the Beijing Haidian District Court, in anticipation of this case, demanding a release from the non-compete clause in their employment contract. The three defendants are
Zhibiao Pan, the CEO of Poolin, Fa Zhu, the COO and Tianzhao Li, the CTO.

It is an intriguing case and we will be looking at the verdict of this lawsuit with great interest as it could serve as a precedent for similar cases in the crypto industry.