Bitmain has flown too close to the Sun. The Beijing-headquartered Bitcoin mining giant, known for its production of crypto-centric ASICs, has lost another one of its facets in the extended bear market.
Bitmain Shutters Amsterdam Office
On Monday, reports arose that Bitmain, once the most valuable cryptocurrency-centric company, has decided to close another of its overseas offices — this time, in Amsterdam. Just weeks earlier, the firm, rumored to have garnered a private valuation of $15 billion, had its development office in Israel — an up-and-coming global blockchain destination.
Speaking to CoinDesk in a statement, a company spokesperson explained that while the Amsterdam location hasn’t been shuttered, a closure is well underway. The anonymous representative didn’t divulge when the shutdown would occur, nor how many staffers were situated in the office — presumably Bitmain’s European headquarters.
CoinDesk journalists purportedly determined that at least nine employees work at the office, and mainly center their efforts around running BTC.com, a leading mining pool that has seen its hegemony wane in recent months.
Interestingly, Bitmain seems to be taking this shift in stride, with the aforementioned spokesperson telling the outlet:
As we build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business, we are making adjustments to our staff and operations… We are really focusing on things that are core to our mission and not things that are auxiliary.
No more details were divulged regarding Bitmain’s “mission,” but it seems that the company is looking to focus its efforts on ASIC manufacturing and its artificial intelligence foray, rather than its in-house mining efforts, pool maintenance, and ventures of similar caliber.
Alex Kruger, a leading crypto analyst recently corroborated this rumor. He claimed that at its core, Bitmain is an ASIC designer and hardware creator, explaining that alternative businesses make up little of the firm’s hefty revenues. This, of course, makes it logical for Bitmain to slow its pool operations, which generates a mere 1.5% of the company’s aggregate revenues.
Texas Bitcoin Mine Shuttered
The shuttering of the Netherlands office comes just days after The Texas Public Radio reported that Bitmain has “scaled back” its operations in the Lone Star State. The local outlet claimed that the mining powerhouse had “suspended its operations in Rockdale,” a town east of Austin.
Speaking on the matter, Steven Young, a local regulator, claimed that he was “disappointed,” as the Texan community welcomed, wanted, and waited for the farm. Bitmain purportedly leaves 7,000 to 8,000 machines offline, which were operated by five employees — down from 15 months ago.
These two recent developments come after reports arose that Bitmain had laid off over half of its employees, who worked in the aforementioned mining-related branches of the company.
Rumors also indicate that the company is in the midst of an internal power struggle, as Bitmain’s C-suite duke it out. Per previous Live Coin Watch reports, Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan will step down from their co-CEO stints.
Some have suggested that the co-CEO system wasn’t operational, with former employees of the Bitcoin firm suggesting that the two haven’t been able to properly work in tandem.
If this hearsay is true, a businessman with the surname Wang will reportedly take over Bitmain’s CEO slot. Dovey Wan has suggested it could be Haichao Wang, Bitmain’s incumbent director of product engineering, or Shengli Wang, a former member of Huawei’s board of directors.