Business

Ed Drake

Bitmain cutbacks claim another victim—Wormhole

Is Wormhole, the supposed game-changing project backed by Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu, is no longer “auxiliary” to the Chinese cryptocurrency mining company?

This week, reports surfaced that the Wormhole team has been “disbanded” and that the “project is over.”

Jerry Chan, head of department at SBI Crypto Solutions, tweeted on Wednesday that a source has confirmed “that Bitmain has cut it’s entire @WormholeCash team.”

A screenshot of a Coinspice group conversation on Telegram was also posted on Reddit, showing Coinbase engineer Josh Ellithorpe’s messages, “Well all the Wormhole FUD is over” and “the team is disbanded and that project is over.”

The Wormhole project, co-developed by Bitmain and supported by Bitcoin ABC, is essentially a layer-2 technology allowing for the creation of smart contracts on BCH via the inclusion of the OP_RETURN code, paving the way for an organization or person to create a token representing bonds, stocks, loyalty point, or even fiat.

CoinGeek, however, raised the red flag on this project that promised to propel BCH forward—but in reality was really just another attempt to deviate from the BCH chain and would ultimately destroy the value of the network. The Wormhole project would only result in the BCH network turning into a developer’s playground, opening the system up to a whole host of troubles by turning the ever-watchful eye of securities regulators and government agencies towards the network.

Now, the project is just another casualty of Bitmain’s so-called move to “build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business.” Recently, the Beijing-based crypto mining firm has been on a mission to shut down several of its operations—mostly overseas—as its turns its focus to “things that are core to our mission and not things that are auxiliary.”

Aside from Wormhole, Bitmain also reportedly shut down its operations in Israel, Texas, and more recently, Amsterdam. The news followed reports that Bitmain’s CEOs Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan have been replaced by Haichao Wang, the firm’s product engineering director.

It’s also worth noting that Wu, already demoted from a board director to a “supervisor” in November, has to respond to several lawsuits including a recent one filed in Florida accusing him and his Chinese government-backed “team of conspirators” of intentional fraud and market manipulation during the November BCH network upgrade.

Now, Bitcoin.com’s Roger Ver has to make a major decision. As Twitter user doraemondrian notes, the company has two choices: abandon Wormhole or become its main developer and become the de facto owner of ABC’s BCH.

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