Mining Giant Bitmain May Lay Off Another 50% of Staff Before BTC Halving

Cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain reportedly has plans to reduce its workforce by another fifty percent.

On Dec. 2, Chinese news media outlet Wushuo Blockchain reported that Bitcoin (BTC) mining rig maker Bitmain has launched a “personnel optimization plan” that will layoff a significant portion of its employees before the next BTC halving, which is expected in May.

The world’s largest producer of cryptocurrency mining machines will reportedly hold an annual meeting on January 17, and it is expected that the layoffs will have been completed before that date.

People familiar with the matter assume that the reason for the layoffs is the upcoming Bitcoin halving, which will cut the number of new coins awarded to miners by half. Dovey Wan, co-founder of Primitive Ventures, wittily dubbed the Bitmain layoffs as the “first halving of 2020.”

In December 2018, Bitmain already endured a massive layoff round, which also impacted around 50 percent of its employees. Bitmain said at the time that the layoffs were part of building a sustainable business and that they would continue to double down on hiring the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Cointelegraph contacted Bitmain regarding these latest developments but had yet to receive a response as of press time. This article will be updated if new comments come in.

Bitmain’s legal troubles continue

Recently, the Shenzhen Bao’An District Court in China had ordered to freeze 4,718,710.68 yuan ($676,000) of Bitmain’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Shenzhen Century Cloud Core. The ruling followed an application submitted by a manufacturer of electronic components, Dongguan Yongjiang Electronics, who asked the court to freeze the amount in order to ensure that it would be able to claim it in an ongoing trade contract dispute.

Executives take aim at each other

Bitmain co-founder and tech billionaire Wu Jihan recently resurfaced at the helm of Bitmain after he had ousted fellow co-founder Micree Zhan from the firm in October. Zhan claimed that he was removed as a legal representative of the company without his consent after Wu Jihan had sent out an email which stated that Zhan had left the company.

One year before, Wu suddenly abandoned his post as CEO of Bitmain, moving into a non-executive role on the company’s board.