Following the emergence of social media chatter related to job cuts at Bitmain Technologies Ltd., a Beijing-based cryptocurrency mining pool operator and rig manufacturer, a December 26 report from Hong Kong news outlet South China Morning Post confirms that the company will "adjust" its staffing this year. Bitmain has not specified how many employees will be laid off, but a spokesperson denied rumors that half of its staff would be let go.
The departments affected were not identified either, though Samson Mow, chief security officer at the blockchain company Blockstream, recently shared social media screenshots referencing layoffs in Bitmain's Copernicus division, which is responsible for developing the company's Bitcoin Cash client (written in the Go programming language). Mow said Bitmain "has quietly laid off [its] entire Copernicus team," some of whom "had just joined the company."
Dovey Wan, founding partner at the blockchain investment firm Primitive Ventures, also shared screenshots from the Chinese career-based social networking platform Maimai (analogous to LinkedIn). Based on these images, the layoffs seem to have a huge impact on various Bitmain operations, including – according to Maimai chat participants – the dissolution of the artificial intelligence department. Wan added that Bitmain's Beijing office size will be reduced to about 300 employees from over 1,000.
Bitmain co-founder Micree Zhan expressed optimism, though, noting that the company will make a comeback despite having to adjust its staffing.
The Bitmain layoffs are another example of the tundra of crypto winter, which has seen companies ranging from ConsenSys to SpankChain downsize. Organizations with significant cryptocurrency holdings have especially been affected as prices plummet. To combat crypto winter, however, individuals such as María Paula Fernández have spearheaded employment initiatives to help the recently unemployed find crypto-related jobs, though many of the positions are for software development, not mining like at Bitmain.