Due to a continuous decrease in the price of the cryptocurrencies, with bitcoin price trading more than 80 percent below its all-time high, one of the leading hardware makers and miner Bitmain Technologies closed down its Israel research and development firm.
As per the Israeli business publication - Globes, the China-based Bitmaintech had started its development center in 2016 at Ra’anana, Israel. All the 23 employees who are working at the firm and Bitmain vice president for sales and marketing Gadi Glikberg will be laid off. A few months back, Bitmain was reportedly planning to hire about 40 people at the center across research, engineering and marketing roles.
However, as per the report today in Globes, Gilikberg said to his employees that,
"The crypto market has undergone a shakeup in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and refocus its business in accordance with the current situation."
Bitmain's main business includes developing and manufacturing cryptocurrency mining equipment, the company's office in Israel has been working towards building BTC mining pool and the artificial intelligence (AI) technology used in the Bitmain's "Sophon" project.
The sudden closure of the Bitmain office was unexpected in the crypto industry. Just before 3 months, the firm had filed on to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Bitmain has raised $2.51 in revenue in 2017 compared to $278 million in 2016. The firm also mentioned that it has gained $925.5 million profit in 2017 as compared to $113.5 million a year before.
In the last few months, a large number of Bitcoin mining companies are going bankrupt, along with Bitcoin mining equipment being sold like a scrap at kilogram. Bitmain is basically both, a bitcoin mining company and a leading manufacturer of bitcoin mining equipment, hence it has to handle the pressure of both the sides. A large number of miners are leaving the industry because the price of bitcoin continues to make mining it useless.
Bitmain is not the first company, laying off its employees. Before a week, ConsenSys, the ethereum production studio has laid off 13% of its staff. Also, Steem has laid off 70% of its employees because the fiat returns could no longer sufficiently cover the increasing price of running full Steem nodes.
Even though Bitmain is struggling just like all other firms in the industry, it will mostly be the last miner providing services in a situation of a continuous crypto crash.