Chinese mining giant Bitmain have closed their blockchain development centre in Israel, laying off all 23 of its staff, according to reports.
Israeli business news outlet Globes report that Bitmain, who founded Bitmaintech Israel in 2016, have cited the recent collapse in price of cryptocurrency as a reason for the centre being closed.
Bitmaintech Israel was founded to explore use cases for cryptocurrency as well as develop infrastructure behind Bitmain’s artificial intelligence project Sophon, which will also close this week.
With massive losses, Bitmain has no resources to support BCH. Illiquid BCH falls further hitting Bitmain balance sheet. Suppliers cut off credit lines & buyers wary to purchase equipment. IPO Canceled. Only solution – significant down round and VCs take over? Interesting to see!
— BTCKING555 (@btcking555) December 5, 2018
Bitmain vice president of international sales and marketing Gadi Glikberg is also leaving due to the closure of the Israeli branch. He told Globes: “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 mining company are also facing legal action from two entities, with one lawsuit focusing on unauthorised mining. The other suit was filed against Bitmain as well as Bitcoin.com, Roger Ver, and Bitcoin exchange Kraken, with the case alleging that the defendants used unfair methods to manipulate the BCH network for their benefit.