Bitmain, the bitcoin ASIC mining manufacturer, has reportedly fired three employees after they spoke to the media about salary delays. According to an internal memo obtained by local news outlets, Bitmain accused the employees of breaching their employment contracts by discussing their remuneration on social media. The memo stated that the employees were to be immediately terminated and blacklisted, and legal action may be pursued against them. Earlier this month, it was reported that Bitmain had paused salary payments for its staff due to a lack of positive cash flow. Employees were also facing a 50% reduction in base salary, with bonuses and incentives being removed. Bitmain, founded in Beijing in 2013, is one of the world’s largest bitcoin mining ASIC manufacturers.
Meanwhile, a new study has revealed that 41% of Hong Kong residents are no longer interested in holding cryptocurrency assets following the recent JPEX exchange scandal. The scandal, which involved a $175 million Ponzi scheme, has caused a loss of confidence in the crypto sector among Hong Kong residents. The study, conducted by the HKUST Business School Central, surveyed 7,900 respondents between April and October. It found that 84% of Hong Kongers had heard of cryptocurrency, with 27% claiming to be current or previous crypto investors. However, 80% of those investing in crypto stated that they would not invest more than HKD 50,000 (USD 6,390) in the sector. The study also revealed that awareness of the need for crypto exchanges to obtain a license in Hong Kong had increased by 15% since the JPEX scandal.
In other news, a “factually inaccurate” news report caused BC Technology Group’s stock to plunge, resulting in a loss of $54 million in market capitalization. The Bloomberg report stated that BC Technology Group, owner of licensed Hong Kong crypto exchange OSL, was considering selling the exchange for HKD 1 billion (USD 128 million). However, BC Technology Group issued a clarification, stating that the report was misleading and that it was not contemplating a sale of OSL. Unfortunately, investors who had purchased BC Technology stock based on the report suffered significant losses when the clarification was released.
Additionally, cryptocurrency exchange Bitget has announced the launch of its own crypto-fiat credit card. The Bitget Card, backed by digital assets stored in users’ accounts and wallets, will be denominated in U.S. dollars and accepted in over 180 countries. Many exchanges have introduced their own crypto debit or credit cards, but some have encountered issues with payment processors. For example, Mastercard recently ended its cryptocurrency card partnership with Binance in Latin America, which experts attribute to Binance’s regulatory scrutiny.
Overall, these developments in East Asia highlight the challenges faced by the cryptocurrency industry, including salary delays and controversies surrounding exchanges. They also reflect the impact of recent scandals on public perception and the need for education and regulation in the sector.