New has surfaced revealing that cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain is planning to lay off 50 percent of it’s staff and has already given one weeks notice to it’s entire Copernicus team.
Copernicus is the name given to the team of developers that were working on a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) client. The revelations were made in a tweet from Blockstream Cheif Strategy Officer Samson (@Excellion) who was also a former BTCC Chief Operational Officer.
Bitmain has quietly laid off their entire Copernicus team (#Bcash GO client). Only 1 week notice. Some had just joined the company. Layoffs just in time for Christmas. #BitmainIPO @HKEXGroup @SCMPNews pic.twitter.com/Kt2Ce90sBW
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) December 23, 2018
The news comes ahead of the planned Bitmain initial public offering (IPO) which has been scheduled for Q1 of 2019, but many now question whether it will go ahead. Regulators in Hong Kong, where the IPO is planned to launch, have recently criticized the cryptocurrency market, calling it “immature”. The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Market (HKEX) is allegedly reluctant to approve the IPO, citing a lack of clear regulations regarding cryptocurrencies.
Bitmain is also currently embroiled in a legal battle with Californian resident Gor Gevorkyan, who claims the new ASICS mining machines sold by the company are preconfigured to use customers electricity for the financial benefit of Bitmain.
Declining market woes
Crypto mining has been particularly hard hit lately by the recent market downturn, and several mining operators have been left unable to turn a profit. Late last month, a crypto mining startup based in Switzerland was forced to abandon its plans to develop an “off-grid” mining operation that utilized renewable energy.
Mining is not the only cryptocurrency-related industry affected by the declining market. Blockchain software startup ConsenSys laid off over 100 employees at the start of December and now it appears more are coming – with some reports suggesting staff cuts as high as 60 percent.