South Korea’s Bithumb Plans To Lay-off 50% Of Its 300 Current Staff
The poor performance of cryptocurrencies over 2018 saw several crypto businesses face cash crunches. As a result, many lay off their workers. The latest in this growing trend is Bithumb, the largest crypto exchange in South Korea.
Reports in local media published on Monday indicate that the exchange is set to cut its staff numbers by 50 percent. This will see the number of employees working at the exchange reduce from 310 in early March to about 150.
A Bithumb official confirmed to Coindesk in South Korea that the 50 percent lay off would happen and that those being released are employees that were already planning to exit the company.
The official explained the departures by saying that they comprised voluntary retirement, which is a part of the company’s support program that is extended to ex-workers. The program is said to provide those who exit voluntarily with training that helps them secure other employment opportunities.
Most cryptocurrency exchanges have seen their trading volumes drop due to the long crypto winter that has pushed some traders off the market. The same scenario affects Bithumb whose trade volume over the year has declined considerably amid accusations of manipulation.
As such, Bithumb says that it “is trying to provide internal measures,” to keep its accounts balanced- which could have resulted in the decision to reduce its employees.
Although the number of employees is set to reduce by almost half, an official at the exchange has said that the platform will add necessary personnel needed in its other business ventures.
Bithumb’s decision comes at a time when other crypto companies have taken similar routes in trying to mitigate the effects of a decline in the crypto markets.
Some of the companies that have laid off employees since late last year include Consensys, the Ethereum development studio that had to reduce the number of projects so as to cut expenses. Several of its employees were also said to be facing lay-offs.
Dash, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, announced early March that it would reduce its staff in the wake of the market downturn.
Other projects to lay off their employees in 2019 are Hosho and Nebulas. The former, a smart contract auditing startup announced that it would reduce its workforce by up to 80 percent, while the latter said that it would have to let go about 60 percent of its workers.
Bithumb is unlikely to be the last crypto related business to cut employees numbers given that the crypto bear market is yet to reverse.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.