Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.
Bitmain allegedly fired staff after salary complaints
Bitcoin application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining manufacturer Bitmain has reportedly terminated three employees for speaking to the media about salary payment issues at the company.
According to local news reports on Oct. 17, Bitmain accused the employees of breaching their employment contracts by sharing their remuneration on social media. Bitmain allegedly fired the employees and blacklisted them, reserving the right to take legal action.
On Oct. 9, Coinpostman reported that Bitmain had paused salary payments for its staff members due to a lack of positive cash flow. Employees were also facing a 50% cut in their base salary.
Founded in Beijing, China, in 2013, Bitmain is a leading Bitcoin mining ASIC manufacturer. It has faced challenges due to declining Bitcoin prices and rising electricity costs, leading to bankruptcies among Bitcoin mining operators.
Hong Kong investors spooked by JPEX scandal
Many Hong Kong residents have lost confidence in cryptocurrencies following the JPEX crypto exchange scandal. A study conducted by HKUST Business School Central found that 41% of Hong Kong residents are no longer interested in holding crypto assets, a 12% increase since the JPEX incident. The study also revealed that 84% of Hong Kong residents have heard of crypto, and 27% either hold digital assets or were previous crypto investors.
The JPEX scandal involved fraudulent activities by the exchange, which led to the arrest of corporate executives and influencers connected to the platform. The scandal has affected over 2,300 victims, with estimated losses of $175 million.
“Factually inaccurate” news report wipes out $54 million in market cap
A news report that was deemed “factually inaccurate” caused a significant drop in the market capitalization of BC Technology Group. The report suggested that the company was contemplating the sale of its licensed Hong Kong crypto exchange OSL for 1 billion Hong Kong dollars ($128 million). BC Technology Group issued a clarification stating that the report was misleading and that it was not considering a sale of OSL. The company’s shares dropped 22%, resulting in a $54 million loss in market capitalization.
Bitget’s new crypto credit card
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitget has announced the launch of its crypto-fiat credit card. The Bitget Card, backed by digital assets in users’ accounts and wallets, will be denominated in U.S. dollars and accepted in over 180 countries. While several exchanges have introduced their own crypto debit or credit cards, some have faced challenges from payment processors. Mastercard recently ended its partnership with Binance in Latin America, potentially due to regulatory concerns.