Crypto Mining Firm Giga Watt Files for Bankruptcy, Owes Investors Millions

Giga Watt, a cryptocurrency mining firm launched last year by bitcoin miner Dave Carlson, has recently filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as it currently owns its creditors millions and has failed to complete its initial plans.

According to CoinDesk, the firm filed for bankruptcy at a court in the Eastern District of Washington earlier this week, and revealed it still owes its biggest 20 unsecured creditors “nearly $7 million.”

The firm, per the documents, has an estimated $50,000 worth of assets, and liabilities that are in the range of $10 to $50 million. Its creditors include electricity provider Neppel Electric, which is owned nearly $500,000, and its local utilities provider, which is owed $310,000.

The minutes of a meeting with the firm’s shareholders reportedly read:

The corporation is insolvent and unable to pay its debts when due. The corporation and its creditors would best be served by reorganization of the corporation under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Giga Watt notably raised $22 million worth of cryptocurrency last year through an initial coin offering (ICO), and at the time was seen as part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s innovation, bringing the 21st-century’s developments to a site near the Douglas County airport, where it was set to set up mining “pods” that, coupled with cheap electricity and proper maintenance, would’ve helped smaller scale miners in the market.

Things didn’t go as planned for the firm, however, as back in January a group of investors sued it for allegedly running an unregistered securities offering. With the lawsuit, the investors were reportedly looking to get their money back, as the firm failed to meet construction deadlines.

Last month, according to the Seattle Times, Giga Watt was already facing millions of dollars in debt, and laid off 80% of its staff while suspending all construction. Carlson himself left the company in August as he “wasn’t able to effect” what he believed was the right direction for it.

Some of Giga Watt’s problems came from the crypto market’s downturn, as since January it has been plummeting. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, started the year at little over $13,000, and is now at about $4,600. George Turner, who was running the company at the time, revealed it had to make “some really radical changes” as it “couldn’t wait” for the cryptocurrency market to start recovering.

As CryptoGlobe covered, a research report from blockchain research firm Diar revealed that cryptocurrency mining was starting to become unprofitable for miners paying electricity prices

ConsenSys Confirms 'Vast Expansion' of Blockchain Industry

The developers at ConsenSys, a Brooklyn, New York-based organization focused on Ethereum-related development, have published a blog post in which they revealed that the nascent blockchain ecosystem “continues to see vast expansion all over the world.”

According to ConsenSys’ management, the evolving distributed ledger technology (DLT) industry needs business development and project managers, UI/UX designers, software architects, and adequate capital allocation.

Large blockchain-focused enterprises and major DLT-based infrastructural projects have now been launched as the crypto industry continues to grow, ConsenSys’ blog post noted. Crypto startups have also “grown into formidable businesses” with “growing hiring needs”, the ConsenSys team revealed.

“Need for Thousands of Non-Tech Roles”

In order to help blockchain job seekers get started, the ConsenSys team has compiled a handy “knowledge checklist”, links to useful DLT-related information, “learning hubs”, and other pertinent resources.

Per the developers at ConsenSys: 

It’s not all cryptography and distributed systems, there’s a need for thousands of non-technical roles ranging from publicists to content creators, community managers and admin positions.

However, the majority of blockchain-related jobs require skilled developers and the need for experienced software architects “continues to be the area of most demand”, ConsenSys’ report confirmed.

LinkedIn: “33x Increase” in Demand for DLT Software Architects

Notably, blockchain developers topped the global list for job roles with the highest overall growth. This, according to LinkedIn’s 2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report which revealed that the demand for DLT software architects “grew 33x over the previous year.”

As detailed in LinkedIn’s market research report, fintech firms and other organizations currently looking for blockchain developers “range from small remote teams to VC-funded startups to industry leaders and tech giants.”

Established multinational IT and professional services firms such as Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft are all expanding their respective DLT-focused development teams. Meanwhile, smaller startups including the developers of the Marconi protocol are looking to enhance blockchain network security, privacy, and connectivity.

Blockchain Devs Are Making up to $175,000 per Year

As noted in ConsenSys’ blog, “advertised blockchain developer salaries — using aggregated data from CNBC, Janco Associates, and Burning Glass — range from $125,000 — $175,000.”

Meanwhile, AngelList data shows that salaries for tech jobs in the DLT industry “outweigh equivalent roles in non-blockchain organizations, highlighting the high demand for practical blockchain knowledge already.” Moreover, non-technical roles in the blockchain sector “also outrank similar roles in non-blockchain companies,” market data shows.