Business 23 October 2018

Rebecca Asseh

Restructuring at Mexico’s Mercado Bitcoin leaves at least 20 staff jobless

Brazil’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Mercado Bitcoin, has reportedly fired 20 of its employees. The exchange claims that the decision was made in order to allow the company to focus on better governance and create a more professional customer service. The announcement has left the crypto exchange’s staff distraught, according to news outlet Portal do Bitcoin report.

The exchange operator noted the layoffs happened only in the marketing, Human Resources and administrative departments; other units were left unscathed. In an interview with Portal do Bitcoin, four of Mercado Bitcoin’s ex-employees described the situation as “horrible.” However, the exchange operator claimed that, “Regarding financial and personnel data, Mercado Bitcoin does not disclose its information to the market but clarifies that the number of people who left the company in October is significantly lower than indicated, reaching 20 people only if we include consultants and other service providers.”

The ex-employees revealed that the first people to be laid off were the senior executives, who were let go on October 15, while other employees were fired by an executive the very next day. It was noted that the company fired the employees it hired from other companies less than six months ago. Some of the employees had reportedly been working at the crypto exchange for less than two months.

The company justified its actions by stating that it was restructuring some of its departments. However, an employee claimed that there had been a gradual deterioration of the work environment at the company as their work volume decreased over time and they spent a longer time achieving their work goals. One of the employees commented, “We created processes and presentations but everything kept getting stuck. Things that we did in an hour, now started being done in two days. Some people were really idle. I had nothing to do.”

Currently, Mercado Bitcoin manages 30% of the total Bitcoin Core (BTC) volume in Brazil. In September, it traded 4,150 BTC; however, the volume was reduced to just 1,965 BTC in October. The decline could have been caused, in part, by a new player arriving on the Brazilian crypto exchange scene. Huobi, one of the largest exchanges around the world by trading volume, recently made its entrance into the Brazilian market.

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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