Troubled mining hardware supplier Hashfast has faced another tumultuous week. It has been slowly slipping further and further into crisis after it took orders for mining equipment that it could not fulfil.
Hashfast has wound up unable to supply its customers and facing court action from its creditors. Simon Barber announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings on its blog in June, 2014.
The company has been trying to restructure itself after the bankruptcy petition, even attempting to sell off its assets via its blog. Its planned hardware auction was set up for December 2, and interest was predicted, but the auction was cancelled after bids were considered to be too low to be realistic. The document detailing the situation is available freely online.
One former employee, Simon Barber, has applied to buy his own debt, but that was the only offer in the auction considered to be qualified and valid. The entire process has been dismissed.
Now, Hashfast has sold almost all of its hardware to a single buyer, a Venezuelan businessman named Guido Ochoa. Originally, bloggers reported that Guido Ochoa was a politician, and president of the Science Technology and Innovation Commission. This has now been proven false, according to Hashfast’s former CEO Eduardo deCastro. You can read this correction in ArsTechnica.
According to Hashfast, Mr Ochoa owns a factory named Siosca in Merida that makes plastic goods and home wares. When Hashfast was solvent, he was one of its best customers, shipping hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of mining equipment to his home country. He now promises to spend $420,000 on mining boards.
In better times, Hashfast says that Guido Ochoa spent $800,000 on mining hardware, and the offer he’s placed for the inventory is described as “competitive”. He also offered to purchase a new piece of hardware at cost price, something the judge in the case found highly unusual. If that goes ahead, he would be able to sell mining boards back to Hashfast at cost price, which they could then resell at a profit in order to satisfy their creditors.
Normally, a company so stricken would liquidate itself and close down, so it seems strange that Hashfast wants to limp on through these proceedings. But Guido Ochoa clearly sees a big market for mining hardware in Venezuela. Hashfast has already accepted the offer, and half of the money has already been transferred.