The crypto winter has claimed more victims, and just when they thought things might be turning around. Hut 8, the Canadian cryptocurrency miner, has reportedly laid off a portion of its staff due to the current low prices in the market.
CBC news reports this is the second round of layoffs in 2019 for the company, which operates 85 data centers in the Alberta towns of Drumheller and Medicine Hat. A former employee of the company has said that 25% of the company has now been let go.
Due to the current poor prices in the market, particularly in Bitcoin Core (BTC), the layoffs didn’t come as a shock. He said:
“In Drumheller, we were expecting some form of layoff but not in the mass amount that we had. At the time, we were just starting to be up online, be completely streamlined.
“The plan was maybe laying a couple people off per shift but it ended up that probably half of the data centre ops crews were let go.”
The hope was that if they held on long enough, prices would rebound and jobs would be saved. It appears though that the recent rise in prices came a little too late, and increasing electricity costs negated any gains. “Power prices were going up, and bitcoin was going down,” he said.
Hut 8, who is partnered with tech firm Bitfury, tried to put the best spin on the restructuring they could manage. “As Bitfury grows, we are constantly evaluating ways to better empower our company to perform efficiently—in 2019 and beyond,” they announced after the first round of layoffs in January. They concluded:
“As part of those efforts, we are streamlining our operations in order to help us advance strategic plans to develop innovative software and hardware solutions and focus on other emerging technologies. This week’s actions reflect those efforts. This decision will enable us to lead the company into our next chapter of growth. We sincerely appreciate everything our team members have helped us accomplish.”
The recent gains in the market appear to be holding, but not progressing any further for the moment. The employees that remain at the mining firm will be hoping that the Canadian summer stays cool to keep energy costs low, or for the market to start doing gangbusters very soon.
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