Bitmain Lays Off 50 Percent Of Its Employees

Some of the most prominent Chinese cryptocurrency hardware maker and miner Bitmain Technologies Inc. is cutting up to 50 percent of its staff as the cryptocurrency crash that started in January continues to affect major players in the industry.

The up to 50 percent figure was first reported on social media Dec. 23, but at the time, Bitmain said only that it was in the process of making adjustments to staffing numbers.

“There are some of the lots of adjustments to our staff this year as we continue to build a long-term association, sustainable and scalable business,” a company spokesperson told Coindesk today. “A part of that is having to really focus on some of the main things that are much more close to the core to that mission and not things that are auxiliary.”

The extent of what those adjustments entail is subject to speculation, with reports that entire teams have been let go, including one that was developing a Bitcoin Cash client.

Bitmain had previously announced that it was closing its Israeli research and development office Dec. 10. Gadi Glikberg, the head of the office and Bitmain’s now former vice president of international sales and marketing told staff that “the crypto market has undergone a shakeup in the past few months, which has forced some of the crypto exchange to have the Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”

The fall of Bitmain has been as rapid as that of cryptocurrencies themselves. As recently as September, the company had filed to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange having booked $2.51 billion in revenue in 2017.

Bitmain is not alone as the overall cryptocurrency industry struggles with low prices. Some of the bitcoin mining companies are going bankrupt, with bitcoin mining equipment being sold as scrap per kilogram. Bitmain both sells cryptocurrency mining equipment and mines crypto itself, meaning that both sides of its business will be suffering.

Despite some cheer in the lead up to Christmas as a so-called “Santa Claus rally” saw the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rally, Christmas itself has seen a return to form. Bitcoin has slump to $3,774.98 as of 7:30 p.m. EST, down from $4,158.02 on Sunday.

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