In the midst of one of the worst and most prolonged crypto bear markets to date, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that Bitmain Technology and Huobi have each confirmed plans to lay off an as yet unspecified number of employees.
2018 saw the total cryptocurrency market cap plummet from its all-time high of $835.7 billion in January to $127.85 billion at press time – a loss of nearly 85% of its value – and businesses in the crypto and blockchain spaces are feeling the pinch.
Bitmain to Make ‘Adjustments’ to Staff
Earlier this week, Blockstream CSO and former BTCC COO Samson Mow tweeted that cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain had laid off its entire Bitcoin Cash client development team:
Bitmain has quietly laid off their entire Copernicus team (#Bcash GO client). Only 1 week notice. Some had just joined the company. Layoffs just in time for Christmas. #BitmainIPO @HKEXGroup @SCMPNews pic.twitter.com/Kt2Ce90sBW
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) December 23, 2018
Rumors quickly began swirling that Bitmain was planning to lay off more than half of its employees. While a Bitmain spokesperson was quick to deny the rumors, the company released a statement noting that it would be undergoing “some adjustment to our staff this year” in order to continue building a “sustainable business.”
The statement further read:
A part of that is having to really focus on things that are core to that mission and not things that are auxiliary. As we move into the new year we will continue to double down on hiring the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.
At this time, Bitmain has yet to announce how many 2500+ full and part-time employees will be laid off or when it will happen.
Huobi to ‘Optimize Staffing’
Earlier today, a spokesperson for Huobi Group, which operates the third largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, announced that the company would be “optimizing staffing” by culling underperforming employees from its staff.
Despite this, the same spokesperson stressed to SCMP that the company is continuing to onboard new hires “for its core businesses and emerging markets.”
Like Bitmain, Huobi Group has not said how many of its 1000+ employees would be let go.
More Crypto Layoffs Reported
Bitmain and Huobi are not the only businesses to lay off staff in the midst of the crypto bear market. Earlier this month, startup incubator and blockchain tech company ConsenSys laid off 13% of its staff and just last week, The Verge reported that the figure could ultimately climb as high as 50 to 60%.
Also laying off staff this month was the Ethereum-based chat startup, Status, who announced on December 10th that it would be laying off 25% of its staff.
According to co-founder Jarrod Hope:
This happened because we budgeted based on an assumption of a higher floor in the event of a market crash, and did not prepare for scenarios where the value dropped beyond 80% since August.
November saw blockchain-based content sharing platform Steemit lay off 70% of its staff, blaming the decision on “the weakness of the cryptocurrency market, the fiat returns on our automated selling of STEEM diminishing, and the growing costs of running full Steem nodes.”
Despite the recent spate of layoffs in the crypto and blockchain spaces, a recent LinkedIn report lists blockchain development as the fastest growing job industry in the United States.
Do you think that we will see more companies making similar staffing cuts? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below.
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