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, BTC.com.

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.

Zcash 'Company' Changes Name to 'Zerocoin Electric Coin Company' for More 'Clarity'

The Zcash company, which supports the ongoing development of the Zcash (ZEC) platform, a leading privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, has rebranded to the Electric Coin Company.

According to an official company blog post, the name change from “Zcash company” to “Electric Coin Company” was made in order to have more clarity. Explaining that the “legal name” for the firm was always “the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, LLC”, the organization clarified that it had been referring to itself as “the Zcash company.”

However, the company’s blog noted that the development of “Zcash” is a community-based project and that some of the privacy coin’s business-related initiatives may involve the Zerocoin Electric Coin commercial entity. Moreover, Zerocoin’s operations are not directly associated with the Zcash Foundation - which in itself is a “separate and independent” organization, according to the z.cash blog post. Notably, the Zcash Foundation has “its own mission, team, and board of directors.”

Rebranding Process: New Domain, Change Office Sign

Acknowledging that it will take the company “a little while to get the new branding right, launch a new domain, and change out the sign at the office”, the company blog mentioned that “the name change is public.” Except for the name change, the entity associated with Zcash explained: 

We are the same team, with the same mission: to empower everyone with economic freedom and opportunity. We developed and help steward Zcash.

Zerocoin's Research & Engineering Projects May Not Be Integrated Into Zcash 

Notably, the Electric Coin Company is currently working on “research and engineering [projects] that may, or may not” be integrated into the Zcash codebase, the blog noted. At present, the Electric Coin team consists of around 30 professionals from across the globe that are involved in the following initiatives:

  • “Product Development and Support”,
  • “Builds Zcash software”,
  • “Participates in cryptographic research”,
  • “Works with third parties to perform regular security audits of Zcash”,
  • “Improves the safety and security of the Zcash network”,
  • “Works on the Zcash user experience, such as the reference wallet” 

Company Website, Social Media Accounts To Be Changed/Updated Soon

In addition to working collaboratively on the initiatives listed above, the Electric Coin company helps in “translating content into different languages”, creates "educational content”, and supports the overall development of the Zcash platform.

As mentioned in the company’s announcement, the Electric Coin company “information will be moved from https://z.cash/ to a new domain with its own website.” Social media accounts associated with the company will also be updated.