Bitmain Technologies, the cryptocurrency mining giant headquartered in Beijing who are responsible for the vast majority of ASIC mining devices, has undergone a series of mass layoffs due to the dramatic cryptocurrency bear market which has resulted in a slump in the profitability of Bitcoin mining.
According to a statement released on January 14, the latest move Bitmain made was to cease all operations at their Amsterdam operation in the Netherlands. This decision falls in line with the company’s long-term roadmap to create a more sustainable and scalable business.
Bitmain’s first massive layoff came in November 2018, with the shutdown of a large blockchain development center in Israel so that the company could reduce costs and focus on their long-term roadmap.
As stated by a Bitmain spokesperson familiar with the matter:
“As we build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business, we are making adjustments to our staff and operations. This includes the decision to close our Amsterdam and Israel offices.”
Bitmain’s statement on the layoff was very vague and brief, and didn’t didn’t state the timeline of this closure or how many employees will be affected. The company appears to be solely focused on what lies ahead, further adding:
“We are really focusing on things that are core to our mission and not things that are auxiliary. We will continue to hire the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.”
Bitmain’s decision back in December 2018 to close their blockchain development center in Israel has lead to speculation that the company was planning much larger layoffs, possibly up to 50% of its 2,500-strong work force. It appears that they are well on their way, with over 20 staff laid off at the Israel operation and an unreported number of staff laid off in Amsterdam.
Also, on Thursday of last week, reports stated that Bitmain has halted their mining operations in Rockdale, Texas. This mining halt comes just months after the company stated that the new site would bring in 400 new jobs via a $500 million investment.
However, Bitmain did clarify that they are not abandoning the Rockdale site, they are only suspending its operations for the time being with minor layoffs.
In addition to the layoffs and suspensions mentioned above, the Chinese mining giant has been making cuts and rearrangements in their home offices as well. The company’s co-CEOs, Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan Ketuan, have moved to co-chair positions, while Bitmain’s director of product engineering, Wang Haichao, is purportedly set to fill the position.
While Bitmain has been making massive layoffs, suspensions, and cutbacks during this long and harsh cryptocurrency bear market, they are not the only company doing so. Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi and the Ethereum-based blockchain startup Consensys have also begun to make redundancies as well.
When will all of the layoffs, suspensions, and cutbacks end? Will crypto companies find a way to be more profitable in a bear market, or will they wait for another cryptocurrency bull run? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.