The Israeli research and development arm of cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain will close, resulting in the firing of all 23 staff due to market “turmoil.”

Glikberg: Bitmain ‘Forced’ To Reevaluate

As local media outlet Globes reported December 10, Bitmain, which continues to face financial problems of its own this year, will formally end all activities at its offshoot just three years after it began operations.

The 23 employees at the Ra’anana site will not be distributed elsewhere, it appears.

More than $8.5 Million in Bitcoin Seized by Israeli Police

Commenting on the move, branch manager Gadi Glikberg, who previously also worked as Bitmain’s global vice president, blamed the ongoing deflated price of Bitcoin 00 and other cryptocurrencies.

“The crypto market has been in turmoil for the last few months, forcing Bitmain to examine the various activities in the global company and to refocus activities according to the current situation,” Globes quoted him as telling the affected staff members in an announcement.

…Over the past three years, we have built an amazing team with the highest performance capabilities in the field, and our development plans included a lot of work on the field of onboarding and digital access to the general public.

Just six months ago, Glikberg had confirmed the expansion of its Israeli team, looking to hire more than 40  “Blockchain researchers, senior software and security engineers, marketing personnel, Python and JavaScript programmers, and QA personnel.”

Bears, Billionaires And Bitcoin Cash

Bitmain’s downsizing caps a troubled six months for the company which has spawned several Chinese billionaires and traditionally held a monopoly on Bitcoin mining.

As Bitcoinist has variously reported, a dubious plan to conduct an IPO in Hong Kong combined with large reserves of volatile and reportedly illiquid altcoin Bitcoin Cash (BCH) 00 to squeeze the company’s coffers ever further.

Most recently, as BCH fell to record lows, rumors began circulating that poor sales of its mining rigs had contributed to Q3 losses nearing an unprecedented $750 million.

Last week, a fresh lawsuit alleging executives colluded with CEO Roger Ver and US cryptocurrency exchange Kraken to manipulate BCH prices has added to Bitmain’s woes.

What do you think about Bitmain’s decision to shut down its Israel operation? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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