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.

Litecoin’s Mining Difficulty Is Down 28% Since Its Block Halving

Michael LaVere
  • Litecoin's mining difficulty has dropped 28 percent since the halving in Aug. 5
  • Miner profitability has taken a hit following the cut in block reward. 

Recent network data shows that mining hashrate on Litecoin’s network dropped 28% since the block reward halving occurred on Aug. 5, as miners forego the decreased profitability from obtaining LTC.

Litecoin Difficulty Declining

Data form mining pool shows that Litecoin's mining difficulty was of 15.93 million on Aug. 4, one day before the halving, and has gradually fallen to 11.40 million as of Aug. 22. The hashing power for Litecoin’s network has dropped 28%. 

Hash rate and mining difficulty give an indication of the amount of computing resources being contributed to a cryptocurrency’s network, which includes securing transactions on the blockchain. It also provides a snapshot of the competition involved for miners hoping to obtain a block reward. 

However, following the Aug. 5 halving, Litecoin miners only receive 12.5 LTC, compared to the 25 LTC block reward they were previously receiving. In addition, the price of Litecoin has been on the decline since the beginning of August, slipping from $93 at the halving to its current price of $74. 

Most analysts predicted there would be market turmoil for the cryptocurrency in the aftermath of the halving. While the cryptocurrency has a reduced supply in the form of regular block rewards, the uncertainty surrounding mining and profitability has caused the price to take a hit. 

Charlie Lee, Litecoin's founder, said in the build-up to the halving that it would be a shock for miners,

When the mining rewards get cut in half, some miners will not be profitable and they will shut off their machine.

However, Lee predicted that the readjustment in mining difficulty would largely smooth things out for the cryptocurrency.