There’s always speculation that BTC halvings will lead to sudden increases in the tokens price, making investors rich and keeping miners afloat. But if you want any proof that the halving is already baked into the price, you need look no further than Bitmain, as the miner has started to suggest massive layoffs are on the way.
Chinese news outlet Wushuo Blockchain has reported Bitmain plans to start a “personnel optimization plan” which will see its workforce cut in half by May 2020, the expected timeframe of the next BTC mining reward halving.
To formally announce the plan, Bitmain is expected to hold an annual meeting a few weeks from now on January 17. By that time, a majority of the layoffs are already expected to have happened.
While most BTC speculators are looking forward to the May halving, mistakenly believing that it will naturally cause greater demand for the Bitcoin fork and increase its price, its hard to interpret this layoff as a vote of confidence in BTC’s future price from the mining company. Dovey Wan joked on Twitter that the year’s first halving has already arrived with the Bitmain layoff.
Earlier than Bitcoin halving, Bitmain gonna further cut half of its personnel by Chinese New Year 😅 this might be the first "halving" of 2020 I guess ..
It's commonly beautified as "人员结构优化" (employee structure optimization) for Chinese companies
— Dovey 以德服人 Wan 🪐🦖 (@DoveyWan) January 1, 2020
There are several other explanations for why the company may need to start drastically cutting costs. In December 2019, reports showed competitors cutting into Bitmain’s mining pool market share at an alarming rate, bringing it down to 15.7% from its former high of 51%.
The company also went through a recent dramatic coup of its leadership. Founder Jihan Wu, who took a lower role in the company after a disastrous 2018 and 2019 where the company saw massive layoffs, declining revenues and legal problems, returned to prominence in October, ousting co-founder Micree Zhan and re-taking his role as CEO. He promised in his first major publicity stunt that it would be a return to glory days. “The Bitmain you are familiar with is back,” read pamphlets given to potential customers.
Half of the employees of the company are now receiving a very different message from the company, and the BTC world should take note as well.
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