Business 19 March 2019

Dennis Wafula

Bithumb to lay off over 50% of its staff

Many employees of the largest crypto exchange in South Korea, Bithumb, will soon be jobless. The exchange announced on March 19 that it will be laying off 50% of its employees.

According to the announcement, reported by CoinDesk Korea, Bithumb will be cutting its staff from 310 to around 150. An unnamed official confirmed the news in the exchange. The official added that the exchange would be offering a voluntary redundancy plan and training support to the employees.

The unnamed official stated:

“Voluntary retirement is part of our support program for former employees and is intended to provide assistance and training for job placement. Apart from that, [Bithumb’s] trading volume has decreased compared to the previous year, [so] we are trying to provide internal measures. We will continue to add necessary personnel for various new businesses.”

A company spokesperson claimed that most of the employees being laid off have already showed a willingness to leave.

Bithumb explained that the decision to lay off its employees had been influenced by the decreased trading volume and a lack of fee revenue.

Many players in the space have had to take measures to stay afloat due to the ongoing crypto winter. Bithumb’s actions have been preceded by firms like a blockchain software firm ConsenSys, mining giant Bitmain, crypto exchanges Huobi and Coinsquare and decentralized social network Steemit.

Steemit a decentralized social network cut 70% of staff in an extreme measure to keep the company afloat. The company was forced to take this action after the value of Steem token crashed. Reportedly, the company admitted that it could no longer support its staff since it was over-dependent on its token valuation.

Hosho, a smart contract auditing firm also announced that it would be laying off 80% of staff while Nebulas, a blockchain project has already cut off about 60% of its staff.

Bithumb has been suspected of faking its trade volume in the past. If it had the volume it claims, its income would be more than sufficient, even throughout the crypto winter.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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