Bitmain, the world’s largest maker of cryptocurrency mining chips is reported to be laying off up to 50 percent of its staff in 2019.

Suggestions that layoffs may be a possibility in the new year first appeared on Maimai — China’s version of LinkedIn — before Christmas where one verified Bitmain employee wrote, “It’s affirmative. The layoff will start next week and involves more than 50 percent of the entire Bitmain’s headcount.”

The mining chip giant as of 2018 had 11 mining farms operating in China but was forced to lay off 3000 of its staff in December having grown from 1000 employees. A spokesman for the company has not confirmed the exact number of layoffs suggested, but commented:

“There has been some adjustment to our staff this year as we continue to build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business. A part of that is having to really focus on things that are core to that mission and not things that are auxiliary.”

Any layoffs are thought to be aimed at new projects such as AI and blockchain, but there is a suggestion that all areas of the company will be impacted. Earlier this month Bitmain closes its Israeli operation which included a lay off of 23 employees there. This was reported to have been a direct response to a downturn in the cryptocurrency markets.

Bitmain’s proposed IPO float on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with an $18 billion valuation is now in question according to some observers.

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Image Courtesy: Pixabay
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