The Beijing company today laid off a team which was working on the development of Bitcoin Cash client. The news broke to the wire when Samson Mow, Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer, and former BTCC Chief Operational Officer, tweeted about it. Mow claimed:
Bitmain has quietly laid off their entire Copernicus team. Only 1-week notice. Some had just joined the company. Layoffs just in time for Christmas.
Rumors gained more credibility as people, claiming to the ex-employees of Bitmain, started sharing their exit stories on LinkedIn. Dovey Wan, managing director at Danhua Capital, brought the matter to notice via her series of tweets.
there’s post on Chinese Linkedin (usually very high accuracy, posted by employees themselves) saying Bitmain will start a layoff the coming week … ???
A separate rumor said the plan is for more than 50% of its headcount ???! pic.twitter.com/b0ZSBuPX4d
— Dovey Wan ? (@DoveyWan) December 23, 2018
Sanyan Finance, a Chinese media outlet, also reached out to Bitmain employees for further confirmation. While they confirmed that the human resource team at Bitmain was speaking to employees about “something,” they refused to add anything more to their claims that could prove that these employees are certainly getting canned.
Before the layoff rumor took off, Bitmain had already suspended its operations in the State of Israel. As a local daily reported, Bitmaintech Israel, a development center Bitmain had founded just two years back, fired its entire team, including vice president Gadi Glikberg, citing losses incurred during the latest crypto crash.
“The crypto market has undergone a shakeup in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and refocus its business by the current situation,” Glikberg confirmed.
In November, the cryptocurrency market cap lost $70 billion worth of investments after Bitcoin Cash fork threatened the stability of the entire crypto space. Bitmain, which supported one of the Bitcoin Cash camps led by Roger Ver in its quest to attain lead over the other, reportedly suffered millions of dollars worth of losses while diverting Bitcoin’s surplus hash power to its ally. The extent of their overall damages, including depreciation incurred during a year-long crypto bear market and by the drop in mining equipment sales, could have led Bitmain to go on a firing spree.
Although it is currently not known whether or not it is a global layoff, Beijing layoffs are already active, reported 36kr.
Bitmain had almost 2,000 employees working across its mining and blockchain development verticals. It is expected to drop to 300 by the time the reported sacking concludes.