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It hasn’t been an easy year for the China-based mining giant Bitmain to say the least, especially in the last few months. In November, a class action lawsuit was filed against the company for unethical fraudulent practices and in December the company was sued (alongside others) for allegedly manipulating the Bitcoin Cash network. Of course, Bitmain’s main problem is the steep plunge of cryptocurrency prices in 2018, which consequently makes mining less profitable.
Now it appears that all of these troubles have taken their toll, and the hurdles are finally catching up with the company in mainland China as well. According to recent reports from Chinese media outlets, Bitmain has begun a massive reduction in its workforce in China; some reports indicate that around half of the company’s employees are set to be laid off. This move was already preceded by the closure of Bitmain’s development center in Israel.
Other reputable sources also point out that Bitmain is already in the process of terminating entire teams. Here’s Samson Mow, the Chief Strategy Officer of Blockstream:
Bitmain has quietly laid off their entire Copernicus team (#Bcash GO client). Only 1 week notice. Some had just joined the company. Layoffs just in time for Christmas. #BitmainIPO @HKEXGroup @SCMPNews pic.twitter.com/Kt2Ce90sBW
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) December 23, 2018
Responding to the rumors and reports, Bitmain portrayed the significant personnel dismissal quite bizarrely, describing the move as “normal staff adjustment at the end of the year.”
The drop in cryptocurrency prices, and particularly Bitcoin’s, is making mining far less profitable (if at all). Mining companies such as Bitmain have enjoyed high profits as long as the prices were at a certain range, but as 2018 went on and prices kept on falling, mining has become a much less lucrative endeavor.
If the crypto market won’t bounce back to certain levels, it should be expected that more massive layoffs in the crypto mining industry would transpire.