Briefing: Chinese cryptocurrency giants plan layoffs amid bear market

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China’s Bitmain Technology and Huobi plan layoffs as cryptocurrency crunch begins to bite – SCMP

What happened: Two Chinese cryptocurrency giants have confirmed plans to lay off employees amid an industry crunch. Cryptocurrency mining rig manufacturer Bitmain said it is undergoing “some adjustment to our staff this year,” while exchange operator Huobi is “optimizing staffing.” However, both companies declined to comment on how many cuts they are making.

Why it’s important: The planned layoffs come amid a bear market in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has lost more than $170 billion in market value this year, falling in excess of 70%. In total, nearly $500 billion has been wiped off the value of around 2,000 cryptocurrencies. Bitmain and Huobi’s moves follow a trend by other international industry players including social network Steemit and software production studio ConsenSys, which is laying off 13% of its 1000 employees. Bitmain has this year proposed going public in Hong Kong.