Chinese crypto mining giant Bitmain is recruiting an additional 40 staff at its Israel development center, as the company doubles down on its research and development activities, Israeli business news outlet Globes reported.
The expanded team will join the 15 staff at the Ra’anana development facility, which is headed by Gadi Glikberg. The facility was established back in 2016, with a focus on developing blockchain capabilities and work on developing AI technologies.
The move represents a 300% increase in staffing levels, a vote of confidence from the company at a time when the overall market cap of cryptocurrencies remains subdued. The BTC coin is down some 60% on 2017 highs, with no sign of reaching anything like those levels in the near future, leading some analysts describe Bitmain’s strategy as unexpected.
However, according to Glikberg, the more muted market conditions will allow them respite to focus on research and development in the wider blockchain and cryptocurrency space.
“The pursuit of talent in the field of digital currency is global. Bitmain has experienced tremendous growth in the past year thanks to the increasing adoption of Blockchain technology in general and, more specifically, of cryptocurrency,” the Bitmain executive told the news outlet. “The world may be in a period of relative calm after the great hype of December 2017, but for the major companies in the field this is a golden opportunity to plan, build and grow, and Bitmain has identified the potential of Israeli know-how and capabilities to contribute to the company’s global effort.”
Bitmain is the world’s largest manufacturer dedicated ASIC cryptocurrency mining hardware, and owns a number of related brands, including Antminer, Antpool and HashNest. Founded by Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu, the Beijing-based company also runs development centers in Amsterdam and Hong Kong. This week, it’s also announced that Bitmain has moved into a 20,000-square-foot facility in the famous California tech hub, Silicon Valley.
Bitmain is thought to be gearing up for an IPO later this year, with some analysts valuing the company at as much as $40 billion.
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