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It was a great celebration in the cryptoverse last year when Bitmain (a Chinese crypto mining firm) announced its intention to build one of the largest crypto mining centers in the world. But the smiles have been wiped off their faces as the project scheduled to hold in Rockdale TX has hit an unfortunate roadblock.
Last year was, indeed, a rough ride for virtually all crypto-related firms and Bitmain isn’t excluded from those stats. The company announced, on Jan 10, a ‘not-so-definite’ suspension of work at the site and the suspension has been effected as at the time of compiling this article. Besides suspension of the project, a new report has it that a good number of the employees have been laid off save the director of human relations and two engineers. This is a long way down from the 15 employees employed to work on the Bit-mining project.
A spokesman for Bitmain disclosed that employees at the Texas site aren’t the only ones affected by the unfortunate turn of fate. He confirmed that a large number of Bitmain employees across the globe were laid off too.
A rough year is being speculated as the cause of the mass lay off and unexpected suspension of the project. It will be recalled that Bitmain landed itself a class action lawsuit in 2018 for allegedly defrauding its customers of their hard-earned ‘mining power.’ The lead plaintiff is asking for several millions of dollars as settlement for every customer in the class.
Of course, the lawsuit coupled with the unfortunate turn of events in the crypto ecosystem following the crypto meltdown is enough reason to take some time to let off steam. The crypto mining project was targeted at the Bitcoin market and has now crumbled to its feet. Bitcoin was selling at over $8,000 as at July 2018 when the project was announced, but that is a far cry from the current Bitcoin market which is now selling each Bitcoin for less than $3,700 at press time.
The county, Milam, had suffered a 30% percent decline in tax base recently when two of its largest employers decided to shut down operations. This was a good avenue to help the county recover from that huge decline. Speaking on the unexpected suspension of the project at Rockdale Bitmain site, the County Judge, Steve Young, expressed his disappointment saying that the project was just what they wanted which is why they welcomed it, advertised it, and waited patiently for it to be completed. Chris Whittaker, Rockdale City Manager, added that he is positive Bitmain is just reorganizing their strategy.
Well, that may be true as the company has not totally shut down the project. In fact, the report stated that work will continue at the site but at a smaller scale.