Business 26 December 2018Erik Gibbs
Confirmed: Bitmain facing major staff reductions
Chinese giant Bitmain, once the leader in the cryptocurrency mining space, isn’t doing so well. The company may have started off 2018 strong, but has been in a downward spiral ever since. After word started circulating that it wasn’t as financially solid as it would have everyone believe, the state of the company was viewed in an even dimmer light when it was revealed that it wasn’t paying its bills. There has been talk recently that the company may be forced to lay off staff and those rumors have now been confirmed.
The latest round of pink slips comes only a couple of weeks after Bitmain was forced to close down its office in Israel, forcing 23 employees to update their resumes. The company has already turned off the lights in its Bitcoin Cash (BCH) development department, as well. The exact number of employees to be relieved going forward isn’t known, but there are indications that it could be anywhere from 50% to 85%.
there’s post on Chinese Linkedin (usually very high accuracy, posted by employees themselves) saying Bitmain will start a layoff the coming week … 😳😳😳
A separate rumor said the plan is for more than 50% of its headcount ???! pic.twitter.com/b0ZSBuPX4d
— Dovey Wan 🦖 (@DoveyWan) December 23, 2018
CoinDesk reported that Bitmain has confirmed the layoffs in a statement, in which it said, “There has been some adjustment to our staff this year as we continue to build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business. A part of that is having to really focus on things that are core to that mission and not things that are auxiliary.”
When Bitmain filed for its initial public offering (IPO) a few months ago, it indicated that it had 3,594 full-time employees. That number has dwindled to around 3,100 and the recent personnel cuts—which reports indicate has affected over 1,000 employees—will lead the company to be nothing more than a shell of its former self.
Despite the fact that the company is leaking money and losing talent, Bitmain expects to still hire more employees. It said in its statement, “As we move into the new year, we will continue to double down on hiring the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.” However, given the company’s propensity for inflating details, there is a degree of skepticism surrounding the announcement.
In related news, Huobi Group, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, has also announced that it will be reducing its staff. It hasn’t revealed how many employees will be affected, but it has made the decision to let go some of its underperforming staff as it seeks to improve its internal structure.
No one can deny the fact that 2018 has been difficult for the cryptocurrency industry. However, those that have been hit the hardest are the ones who have expected cryptocurrency prices to skyrocket into the tens of thousands of dollars—not those that see the big picture, the picture of cryptocurrency becoming a solid alternative to fiat.
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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