Bitcoin mining manufacturer Bitmain has reportedly fired three employees for revealing information about withheld salary payments. According to an alleged internal memo, the company accused the employees of breaching their employment contracts by sharing their remuneration on social media platforms. The memo also stated that Bitmain reserved the right to pursue legal action against the individuals. This incident comes after reports that Bitmain had paused salary payments for its staff due to a lack of positive cash flow. Founded in Beijing in 2013, Bitmain is one of the largest Bitcoin mining ASIC manufacturers globally.
A recent study conducted by the HKUST Business School Central revealed that 41% of Hong Kong residents have lost interest in holding crypto assets following the JPEX crypto exchange scandal. This represents a significant increase of 12% compared to before the incident. The survey included 7,900 respondents and showed that 84% of Hong Kongers have heard of cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, 57% of respondents said they understood that crypto exchanges must obtain a license before operating in Hong Kong. The study’s findings highlight the need for increased education and awareness about the risks and potential of virtual assets.
The JPEX scandal, which unfolded last month, involved the largest Ponzi scheme in Hong Kong’s history. The unregulated exchange faced severe consequences, with its staff fleeing the corporate booth at a significant industry event. Hong Kong police later arrested multiple corporate executives and influencers connected to the exchange on fraud charges. The scandal has resulted in over 2,300 victims and estimated losses of $175 million. The incident has undoubtedly dealt a blow to confidence in the crypto industry among Hong Kong residents.
Fake news continues to be a problem in the cryptocurrency industry, as exemplified by a recent misreported story involving BC Technology Group. Bloomberg initially reported that the company was contemplating the sale of licensed Hong Kong crypto exchange OSL for 1 billion Hong Kong dollars ($128 million). However, BC Technology Group swiftly issued a clarification stating that Bloomberg’s report was “factually inaccurate and highly misleading.” The stock price of BC Technology Group suffered a significant decline of 22% following the clarification, causing a loss of $54 million in market capitalization.
In a move following its competitors, cryptocurrency exchange Bitget announced the launch of its own crypto-fiat credit card. The Bitget Card, issued by Visa, will be backed by digital assets in users’ accounts and wallets and denominated in U.S. dollars. It will be accepted in over 180 countries. While many exchanges have introduced their own crypto debit or credit cards, some have faced challenges from payment processors. For instance, Mastercard recently ended its cryptocurrency card partnership with Binance in Latin America, likely due to Binance’s regulatory scrutiny.
Recent developments in East Asia have showcased both the challenges and opportunities within the cryptocurrency industry. The firing of employees at Bitmain highlights the contentious nature of salary payments and the risks faced by employees in the mining sector. The loss of confidence in cryptocurrencies among Hong Kong residents following the JPEX scandal underscores the need for increased education and regulation in the region. Additionally, the misreported news surrounding BC Technology Group serves as a reminder of the impact that fake news can have on financial markets. Lastly, Bitget’s entry into the crypto-fiat credit card market reflects the growing acceptance and integration of cryptocurrencies into traditional financial systems. As the industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to stay informed and critically analyze the various developments and news that shape the cryptocurrency landscape in East Asia and beyond.