Mining Manufacturing Giant Bitmain Closes Israeli Research Center

Justine Pope

Bitmain’s Israel development center is reportedly closing down. Bitmaintech Israel was founded just two years ago in the city of Ra'anana (just outside of Tel Aviv), but will be shutting down and laying off its 23 employees - according to Globes, an Israeli Business news outlet.

Gadi Glikberg, Bitmain VP and leader of Bitmaintech Israel, will also be leaving the company. In a statement to Bitmain’s Israeli employees, Gilkberg said:

The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.

The Bitmain branch in Israel was responsible mostly for research. Their projects included development of blockchain infrastructure, a new mining pool (Connect BTC) and Bitmain's processor chips.

Bear Market Closures

The exact cause of this closure is unknown, but it seems plausible that the ongoing bitcoin bear market is a contributory factor. The declining price of Bitcoin (and Bitcoin Cash) has meant that mining is far less profitable. Since the beginning of November 2018, the BTC chain’s hash rate has dropped by a whopping 31%

Bitmain is the largest Antminer Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) manufacturer in the world, and is also responsible for running one of the largest Bitcoin mining pools, Antpool. Based in China, Bitmain has been making waves all year due to their upcoming IPO. Their ASICs make up about 70% of all worldwide Bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin Cash SV supporter Calvin Ayre had some harsh words for Bitmain. Ayre, owner of CoinGeek, is set to be majority shareholder of Squire Mining, a Bitmain competitor. Via Twitter, Ayre said:

Facebook and Amazon Stock Hit New Highs as Stock Market Outperforms Economy

The price of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) stock hit a new all-time high amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the stock market has been outperforming the economy.

According to available data, Facebook stock is now trading above $230 marking a new all-time high for the social media giant. Its positive performance comes shortly after it launched Facebook Shops, a platform that makes it easier for small businesses to sell to its billions of users amid the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking to CNBC Todd Gordon, managing director at Ascent Wealth Partners, said FB stock has been having a “very impressive” performance, noting that Facebook’s move up is “pretty spectacular.”

FB stock chartSource: Google

Facebook Shops gives the social media giant a new source of revenue, at a time in which advertisers are spending less because of the crisis. It comes as the deadline to launch the Libra cryptocurrency project approaches.

Amazon has been managing to outperform Facebook, however, as the e-commerce giant recently hit a new all-time high close to the $2,500 mark. AMZN stock dipped shortly after hitting it but has since recovered, and ahead of the opening bell is at $2,451.

The e-commerce giant’s performance comes after it reported gains in the first quarter of the year amid the coronavirus outbreak, as demand went up. It further announced it will be using all of its second-quarter earnings, of around $4 billion, in response to the crisis.

Amazon Stock price chartSource: Google

Stock Market Outperforms Economy

Other blue-chip stocks have been performing rather well, despite the toll the pandemic has taken on the global economy. According to Yahoo Finance, data from April included dismal jobs numbers and poor retail numbers, which led economists to lower their economic growth forecasts.

This month Goldman Sachs cut its GDP forecasts and warned the unemployment rate in the United States will reach 25%, while Credit Suisse economists warned a “longer growth slump will outlast fiscal relief.”

Economists from Bank of America said that the recession will be “unlike anything we have seen in modern history,” after claiming GDP in the second quarter of the year would fall at a 40% rate. Large firms in the S&P 500 index have, however, posted better results than expected.

Credit Suisse’s Jonathan Golub was quoted as saying:

  • Although aggregate earnings are beating estimates by +2.6%, ex-Financials, earnings are surpassing expectations by +7.1%, with 65% of companies exceeding their lowered projections.

These better than-expected-results help, according to some analysts, explain the rise in the stock markets.

Featured image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash