Chinese crypto mining giant Bitmain has reduced the staff and the operation of its facility in the US state of Texas, Steve Young, Milam County Judge toldlocal public radio TPR on Thursday. The complex, based in the small town of Rockdale, which has a population of around 6,000, was designed to be the largest Bitmain research and development center (R&D) in the United States.
According to Young, who received an email from the Chinese firm, one of the main reasons for the Bitmain decision is the Bitcoin (BTC) recent price crash, which has led to a broader downturn in the whole virtual asset market. The miner had reduced its Rockdale staff from fifteen to five employees and scrapped the initial intention to hire up to four hundred local people. The firm had also decided to scale back the mining power of the site.
“The right-sized team at Rockdale now has the expertise to re-start the project at small scale anytime,” Bitmain spokesman said in an email, seen by TPR.
“Bitmain would like to ramp up the site at a slower pace and scale based on market conditions.”
In July, last year Bitmain announced a $500 million investment in the Rockdale due to the cheaper electricity in the Milam County and the proposed tax deductions for technology investments. Young, who was elected as the local judge in 2018 November Texas State Elections and has just assumed the office, had built its campaign around promises for bringing investments such as Bitmain.
“I’m really disappointed because we had advertised this. We had waited for this. We had wanted this. We had welcomed this,” Milam County Judge Steve Young explained.
“They have spent millions thus far to renovate the buildings. I’m told there are 7,000 or 8,000 servers out there already."
Bitmain is the largest miner of BTC with control of nearly 50% of the coin pool. Last month, the company announced the closure of its R&D center in Israel, followed by the news of laying off nearly half of its workforce on a global level and making changes in its corporate structure.