China's bitcoin mining giant chooses Switzerland to set up hub

400Chinese bitcoin mining giant Bitmain Technologies is expanding to Switzerland in a move that will be key to widening its reach, the group told a Swiss newspaper. 

Local Swiss publication Handelszeitung reported that the subsidiary, Bitmain Switzerland, was registered in Zug last month, to Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, Ti Liu (a Chinese national residing in Birrwil), and Christian Johannes Meisser (a Swiss national residing in Klosters-Serneus), according to commercial registry filings.

Zug, a small Swiss canton, has earned the title “Crypto Valley”, as relaxed regulations have made it the location of choice for numerous cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to set up their HQs. According to Handelszeitung, Bitmain claimed its new European branch “will play a key role in our global expansion”. 
Experts say China is one of the world’s biggest sources of bitcoin mining, where miners solve complex mathematical puzzles with computers in order to be awarded virtual coins. But a government clampdown on electricity-intensive cryptocurrency mining could soon see that activity move elsewhere. “Bitmain Switzerland will play a central role during our global expansion,” a spokesman for the Beijing-based group told Swiss paper Handelszeitung. The paper first reported the group’s expansion to Switzerland on Wednesday. Bitmain Technologies was not immediately available for comment nearing midnight Beijing time.

Founded in Beijing in 2013, Bitmain is a leading bitcoin miner which also makes chips and computer hardware for mining. Besides Beijing it currently has offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Qingdao, Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen, according to its website. 

The Swiss company, Bitmain Switzerland, was registered to directors Jihan Wu, the name of Bitmain Technologies’ co-founder, as well as a Chinese national by the name of Ti Liu residing in Birrwil, Switzerland and a Swiss national, Christian Johannes Meisser, residing in Klosters-Serneus.

Bitcoin mining is an energy-intensive activity, and the growing demand for cryptocurrencies means the demands on the network are also increasing. China had long been a hub for miners owing to the availability of abundant and cheap power supply – however, in the wake of recent developments, miners will be forced to take their businesses elsewhere. 


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