Bitmain, a privately owned company based in China that designs application-specific IC chips for bitcoin mining, recently on Thursday, Jan. 10th 2019 suspended its bitmining operations in Rockdale, a city in Milam County, Texas, United States.
As per an issued statement by Milam County Judge, Steve Young, all Bitmain employees, excluding 2 engineers and the Director of Human Relations, had been laid off, suspending all operations. The company also noted him that it’ll be scaling down the bitmining operation and not shutting it down, and instead of 15 employees, it’ll only be working with 5 now, thus continuing its operations with a less ambitious facility.
Last year in Aug. 2018, Bitmain announced a $500 million investment to develop a data center within the Alcoa aluminum smelter site outside Rockdale, which will bring 400 jobs for the local residents, in its efforts for US expansion.
The Chinese company also planned to partner with the local schools and educational institutions in the region to provide professional and technical training programs for the community members to prepare them for careers with the data center.
Young further cited that the primary reason for the company’s less ambitious plans is the downfall of Bitcoin (BTC). Bitcoin which was trading at over $8,000 per coin, during the company’s expansion announcement, took a nasty fall and is trading now at only $3,700 per coin, less than half of what it was back in July.