Who owns 8chan?

N.T. Technology.

Who owns N.T. Technology?

Jim Watkins.

How did that happen? What about Hotwheels?

To understand this you have to understand 8chan's actual history and not the erroneous meme histories on e.g. Wikipedia.

8chan was created with a quick hack to the vichan imageboard software in October 2013. It had few fans and most boards were in languages other than English.

When the GamerGate drama began on 4chan in August 2014, a small 8chan archive board called /burgers/ was created. However, owing to revelations about 4chan's founder and a subsequent crackdown on GamerGate posts and posters by 4chan's moderation team, GamerGate posters searched the web for an alternative anonymous discussion board to use.

After either being ousted by the moderators of the other sites or having to leave due to server issues, the /burgers/ archive board became a de facto base of operations.

After the then owner Hotwheels upgraded the servers to support the higher capacity demanded by the many GamerGate users, 8chan became their home and some users took it upon themselves to createthe many general interest boards available on 8chan today.

Okay, but how did Hotwheels lose control of 8chan?

With 8chan's increasing popularity and media attention, the American hosting company N.T. Technology took note and offered Hotwheels an attractive hosting agreement. They would not shut down the site over abuse reports unless they were not acted on in a timely manner after being forwarded, they would give 8chan an entire rack in their data center, and they would do all of this for free so long as they were entitled to 60 per cent of any profit 8chan would generate while being hosted by them.

Since Hotwheels believed 8chan was either many years from any profit or that it would never make one at all, he jumped metaphorically at the idea. The offer put all of the risk on N.T. Technology, and would allow 8chan to continue as it was having a difficult time finding a host that would put up with the antics of the site's anonymous users.8chan switched hosting providers due to differences in opinion over takedowns and content five times in the month of September 2014, but in the months following it did not even switch once.

However, the story doesn't end here. The original agreement dealt only with servers and bandwidth, but in January 2015 everything changed. At the height of GamerGate, before it became largely focused on Reddit's KotakuInAction, SPJ Airplay and its ultimate fizzling out, 8chan sustained a massive DDoS attack using the for hire "stresser" from Lizard Squad. After that attack subsided, the domain registrar of 8chan's original domain, internet.bs, siezed control of the domain and directed all users to a landing page advertising jailbait pornography.

To bring the site back online, a new domain, 8ch.net, owned by Jim Watkins, was used. This was originally meant to be temporary, and at the same time a lawyer in the Bahamas was contacted to take internet.bs to task. However, once the 8chan.co domain was retrieved, both the lawyer lawyer and world renowned computer hacker Andrew "weev" Auernheimer advised to make 8chan.co into a simple redirect and keep 8ch.net as the domain for the real site, due to the increased respect for property rights inherent in the .com, .org, and .net domains, which are operated by American company Verisign, instead of by the government of Colombia as 8chan.co was.

And so, Jim Watkins became the owner of the most immutable part of 8chan, its domain, along with the servers. However, he retained Hotwheels as 8chan's administrator in charge of technical and community matters, and offered him jobs for pay doing such things as adding oekaki support to 2ch.

Okay, but who was Race Queen?

While N.T. Technology is Jim's American company, Race Queen is his Filipino one. Race Queen is mostly unrelated to 8chan, being an outsourcing company with a primary focus on making utilities and mobile applications for 2channel. However, in recent months Race Queen worked on 8chan for the first time by writing Softserve, the self serve ad system.

Has 8chan ever turned a profit?

No.

Why should I trust Jim?

He's kept the lights on, hasn't he? There is nothing certain in this world, but without Jim or a similar offer I can say for sure that all that would remain of 8chan is an article in Encyclopedia Dramatica. I trust he has what is best for the site in mind given his investment in it.

How come I'm just learning about all this now?

You are either too new to 8chan to have seen it happen or you weren't paying attention while it was happening.

I read that N.T. Technology sold the user data of 2channel users, is this true?

No. Hiroyuki Nishimura, the previous administrator of 2ch.net, did that. You can read more about Hiroyuki and why he was fired by Jim here:

http://8ch.net/newspaper/res/3.html

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/2ch_Chronicle

Most primary sources are unfortunately in Japanese.