I don't even think this is tinfoil hat stuff... lets go over the exact timeline.
Obelisk decides to enter the mining space and compete with Bitmain.
After seeing that there was some demand from American buyers, Bitmain decides they want to do as much damage to Obelisk as possible. Chinese companies know that they must out compete any threats in general, so this is actually quite a reasonable/standard response.
Bitmain pumps the price of Siacoin from $.005 all the way up to $.1. Probably by spending let's just say 20 million, as a few well placed market buys can keep pumping hype going. Which is by the way peanuts to these guys.
When the price and ROI is at its peak (market headwinds affected the $.1 price) Bitmain announces A3 and sell as many miners as possible. One they have recouped all of their pump money and more and more importantly they have screwed over Obelisk.
Now that Obelisk is effectively dead (because it is), Bitmain also gets the added bonus of having control over the Sia network. They don't have any reason to damage it as the Sia network running smoothly means they can sell more Antminers! Oh and without question they have a chipset that will be quickly ready to blow the SC1s out the water when the time comes.
Obelisk being also the devs of SiaCoin could have been combative towards Bitmain. Kinda like how the Bitcoin core community rejected the calls to raise the blocksize? Well guess what instead happened!! The Siacoin team decided that they wanted to make sure their SiaFunds keep producing money and said lets allow all of this to happen without any response. Bitmain probably was like OH ok! So what next?
Bitmain now announced a NEW BATCH of SC1s with discounts for Obelisk buyers, why? Because now they can recruit folks that actively dislike Obelisk to be on their side and depending on who the largest buyers are expect Bitmain to be quite cozy with them. Again just in case Obelisk tries to punch back they now have their network by the balls and malicious players in place. Just in case though because as of this moment the competitor has announced it wont do anything to them if they keep it as is (dead Obelisk and owning the network)****
Proof of the discounts by the way: https://twitter.com/BITMAINtech/status/957620387558260736 So what are the next steps? Bitmain will do all it can to ensure Obelisks do not ROI. Killing the company off for good. Expect Siacoin to be sold to shit AFTER their next batch profits (or the moment SC1 releases). Oh and how can they do this most effectively? By getting listed on Binance the largest exchange in China. I wonder who is calling for these listings?? The new A3 miners, why? Because this entire drama is making SC holders itchy to offload. So the community is now going to get listed on Binance so a wave community members (let's assume 15k new people) can sell... This is how its done ladies and gentlemen, this is shrewd and clever business practices at play put in place by folks that can execute. One set of folks had trouble delivering t shirts... the other has achieved a non-hostile hostile takeover of an entire network. Bitmain is using game theory and peoples incentives to achieve its goals, it didn't have to try anything shady rather it uses understanding of humans rational thought + their greed to get what it wants. Honestly I'm impressed at how well executed this was. BONUS: This is where I will put the tinfoil hat on. If Bitmain was able to implement some hidden features in its miners that would really put the icing on this. ****EDIT: What is even better is that by having Obelisk buyers purchase A3s the chances for a fork are lowered as there will be no-one calling for a fork. Thanks for pointing that out to me in the comments.
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