Bitmain to Close Israeli R&D Center due to Crypto Market Crash – Report

The move comes several weeks after China’s crypto mining giant opened a new US facility despite the recent decline in Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoin prices.

Bitmain, one of the largest ASIC miners on a global level, has decided to close its Israel-based research and development (R&D) center, according to a report from local daily newspaper Globes. The move comes as a result of pressure from the crashing cryptocurrency market, Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmaintech Israel, said on Monday.

The R&D center will cease operation this week, and the company will lay off all 23 employees. Glikberg, who has also been Bitmain’s vice president for international sales and marketing for nearly three years, will leave both positions.

“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,” Glikberg told Bitmaintech employees on Monday as per Globes quoting.

Bitmain’s Israel subsidiary was founded in 2016 in Ra'anana, a coastal town that is home to leading global companies and local startups. Bitmaintech was responsible for researching blockchain technology and developing Connect BTC, a Bitcoin (BTC) mining pool that was launched in 2017.

In June this year, Bitmain was reportedly eyeing Israeli expansion by tripling its staff. The firm planned to hire 40 blockchain researchers, senior software and security engineers, marketing specialists, Python and JavaScript programmers.

The closure decision comes several days after Bitmain opened a $20 million new data center in the United States, claiming that the recent crypto market crash was in a “bear market situation” that was not affecting the company’s expansion strategy.

Currently, Bitmain is heading towards 51% control of the Bitcoin mining pool mainly due to the activities of BTC.com and Antpool, which had 25% and 17% share of BTC creation process respectively in June this year. Connect BTC was far behind, with 0.3%.

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