Chinese-based cryptomining firm Bitmain is shutting down the operations of Bitmaintech Israel, its research and development (R&D) center in Ra'anana, Israel, according to reports from local news outlet Globes.
The R&D center, which produced Bitmain's first Israeli mining pool ConnectBTC, was launched in 2016 to explore meaningful use cases of blockchain technology, as well as artificial intelligence for the company's Sophon project.
As the market continues its bearish run, Bitmaintech will reportedly close down its operations and lay off 23 of its employees, including Gadi Glikberg, Bitmain's vice president of international sales and marketing, who held a managing role at the center.
“The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation," Glikberg revealed to employees.
As the downward trend of the cryptocurrency market continues, blockchain companies are having to make do with layoffs to stay viable. Last week, Ethereum studio ConsenSys said it was cutting 13 percent of its staff as the startup made moves to refocus its priorities.
“Excited as we are about ConsenSys 2.0, our first step in this direction has been a difficult one: we are streamlining several parts of the business including ConsenSys Solutions, spokes, and hub services, leading to a 13% reduction of mesh members,” a statement from the company explained.
Blockchain startup Steemit was also forced to let go of 70 percent of its workforce, citing the continued bearish trend in the market. Steemit CEO Ned Scott announced the layoffs in a blog post where he revealed that the revenue could no longer cover the costs the company incurs because of "the weakness of the cryptocurrency market, the fiat returns on our automated selling of STEEM diminishing, and the growing costs of running full Steem nodes."