Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain Suspends Texas Mining Operations

News | January 14, 2019 By:

Chinese crypto mining giant Bitmain has reportedly suspended its mining operations in the city of Rockdale, Milam County, Texas due to the collapse of the price of bitcoin.

In August 2018, the Chinese crypto mining giant started to build its $500 million data center and mining facility at a section of the former Alcoa Rockdale Operations site. At the time, when bitcoin was worth over $8,000, Bitmain said that the facility would bring around 400 jobs to the county.

In a statement issued last week, Milam County Judge Steve Young said that Bitmain decided to suspend its mining operations in country because of the precipitous drop in the value of bitcoin. He added that all Bitmain employees, other than two engineers and the director of human relations, had been laid off.

“I’m really disappointed because we had advertised this. We had waited for this. We had wanted this. We had welcomed this,” Young said. “This was huge, we need some positive news here. We need some jobs here. We need tax base here and this was a step in the right direction. They have spent millions thus far to renovate the buildings. I’m told there are 7,000 or 8,000 servers out there already.”

In an email to public radio station Texas Public Radio (TPR), a Bitmain spokesman said that staff reductions were happening across the entire company.

“The right-sized team at Rockdale now has the expertise to re-start the project at small scale anytime,” said the spokesman. “Bitmain would like to ramp up the site at a slower pace and scale based on market conditions.”

The news came after it was reported that Bitmain was in the midst of changing leadership roles. According to the South China Morning Post, Bitmain will be appointing a new CEO to replace company co-founders Wu Jihan and Zhan Ketuan.