What happened: Chinese bitcoin mining company Bitmain confirmed that it’s shutting down its Amsterdam office, just a month after it announced it would shutter its Israel branch. After American media reported that mining operations had halted at a new site in Rockdale, Texas last week, Bitmain also said that a portion of employees there had been laid off. The company is undergoing personnel cuts across the board, including in its China offices. Co-CEOs Wu Jihan and Micree Zhan may also step down from their roles, according to a SCMP source.
Why it’s important: Bitmain grew rapidly last year, and cutbacks may be partly the result of a too-hasty expansion: The Rockdale site alone originally planned to employ 400 people. Its scale down is also tied to cryptocurrency’s falling fortunes in 2018, which the company cited as the reason for the Israel office shutdown. Last September, following the lead of fellow Chinese mining competitors, Bitmain filed for a Hong Kong IPO. No further progress has been announced since then, however. Either way, the mining company faces an inauspicious start to 2019 amid a chilly crypto climate.