Mining Giant Bitmain Planning to Close Amsterdam Office

Omar Faridi
  • Bitmain appears to be scaling back its operations as it's planning to shut down its Amsterdam office.
  • The company has admitted the crypto bear market has impacted its operations.

Bitmain Technologies, the world’s largest manufacturer of crypto mining hardware, has decided to close down its office in Amsterdam - as the China-based firm claims to be adjusting its business model.

"Making Adjustments" In Order To Build "Scalable Business"

At present, Bitmain’s Amsterdam office is still open, however the multinational company has confirmed that it will shut down its operations in the European city. A Bitmain representative told Coindesk

As we build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business, we are making adjustments to our staff and operations. This includes the decision to close our Amsterdam and Israel offices.

As CryptoGlobe reported in July 2018, Bitmain’s management team had announced its plans to “triple the size” of its development center in Israel. The mining giant said it would hire 40 more specialists to work at its Israel-based offices because the firm was eyeing a “golden opportunity” to “plan, build, and grow.”

Bitmain has placed its mining operations in Rockdale, Texas on hold. Announced last Friday, the mining hardware manufacturer said it would not be moving forward (for now) with its plans to hire 400 workers, while also investing $500 million to establish an office in Milam County.

"Really Disappointed"

Expressing his disappointment regarding Bitmain’s decision, Milam County judge Steve Young remarked:

I’m really disappointed because we had advertised this. We had waited for this. We had wanted this. We had welcomed this.

Judge Young confirmed that almost all of Bitmain’s staff (working at the mining site) had been laid off. There are only two engineers and an HR director that are still working at the site, Young said. However, “all operations had been suspended.”

The tech firm has not yet revealed if and how its staff members will be affected as a result of shutting down the offices. There are currently around nine people that are employed at Bitmain’s Amsterdam offices, according to their LinkedIn profiles. As mentioned in the profiles, the personnel are focused on managing Bitmain’s mining pool,

Commenting on the company’s decision to close down its offices in the Dutch capital, Bitmain’s representative said: 

We are really focusing on things that are core to our mission and not things that are auxiliary. We will continue to hire the best talent from a diverse range of background.

Bitmain's Co-CEOs, Jihan Wu & Ketuan Jhan, Might Be Replaced

In December 2018, Bitmain officially closed down its office in Israel, and laid off more than 20 staff members that had been hired (earlier last year) to work on various projects related to artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology. Bitmain’s management had acknowledged that its operations were affected due to the sharp decline in cryptoasset prices, which was the main reason for closing down its business offices.

Bitmain is also reportedly planning to replace its co-CEOs Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan, who are also the mining firm’s co-founders. According to local news sources, Wu and Zhan will remain the firm’s co-chairs. However, the two will not oversee Bitmain’s day-to-day operations.

Wu and Zhan will still reportedly be involved in making the final calls on important decisions. Haichao Wang, the product engineering director at Bitmain, might serve as the company’s new CEO.

$1.5 Billion Hedge Fund Ulysses Capital Invests in NULS (Again)

NULS, a blockchain designed to enable customizable modules and cross-chain operability, has secured investment from Ulysses Capital, a Los Angeles-based family office managing roughly $1.5 billion worth of assets.

Commenting on his fund’s investment in a blog post published by NULS was Joon Lee (Fund Manager, Ulysses Capital), who praised NULS’ “strong technical team” for sticking to their roadmap; something “we don’t often see” occur in the crypto space, he added.

If anyone was to know how diligently NULS abides by their roadmap, it would be Ulysses Capital. Indeed, the investment into the enterprise- and developer-focussed blockchain project was not the first for the long/short hedge fund.

It was only last October when Ulysses Capital – who at the time had “recently established a crypto fund to invest in cryptos and blockchain companies” – invested directly into NULS’ same-named cryptocurrency.

For Ulysses Capital, the initial investment into NULS doubled as a strategic partnership. According the October announcement, Lee shared his fund’s intention was to “build a win-win relationship with [NULS] by creating more opportunities for NULS in the future.”

NULS Seeing A Lot of Investment

Notably, Ulysses Capital is not the only crypto-specific fund in recent times to have seen potential value in NULS. Late last month, BlockGroup, the parent company of the BlockVC, announced their investment in NULS through its newly established $200 million crypto fund. As was the case with Ulysses Capital and their crypto-specific fund, NULS represented the first investment by BlockGroup’s.

As for how NULS is tracking as a project, the team is currently testing their recently released alpha version of NULS 2.0. Promisingly for investors such as Ulysses Capital and BlockGroup, NULS revealed in today’s investment announcement it “has multiple enterprises and individuals participating in the 2.0 alpha test and is currently considering additional participants to join the environment.”

Announced last November, NULS 2.0 represents a “new modular architecture enhanced with microservice suites, that have no programming language limitations.” Prompting the design overhaul was the core team’s realization that, whilst NULS 1.0 achieved “the modular effect at the coding paradigm level,” it was far too constraining for developers. For CryptoGlobe readers wanting to learn more about the benefits of NULS 2.0 – especially as it relates to NULS 1.0 – we recommend reading this detailed blog post.