As originally reported by Portal do Bitcoin, cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has let go of six of its 10 employees in its Brazilian division. Founded in China and headquartered in Singapore, Huobi is currently the third largest exchange in the world, settling about $1B worth of volume over the past 24 hours.
In an attempt to capture more of the global exchange volume, Huobi has been opening up international offices around the world. Earlier this month, Huobi announced that they will be opening a new office and support center in Russia.
Huobi began their operations in Brazil in May of 2018. When the exchange giant moved into Brazil, some thought this increased competition would threaten local exchanges, by providing users greater liquidity, lower fees, and larger coin selection. However, this recent round of layoffs might suggest that Huobi will not be a dominant force in Brazil.
Huobi CEO of Brazilian operations, Frank Tao, confirmed that there were layoffs, but he did not comment on how many employees were let go. The notices of termination were released during end of October, and employees have finished their employment recently. None of the removed employees reported that there was a specific reasons for the layoffs.
One of the anonymous employees explained (translated from Portuguese):
I was surprised at the dismissal. It was nothing about the market. Probably an external factor. By September the team was closed. In October, they decided not to continue with local operations.
Huobi isn't the only exchange to have issues in Brazil. Last month, Mercado Bitcoin, one of the larger Brazilian Bitcoin exchanges, also laid off 20 employees. Another exchange, Foxbit, recently closed the doors on its Information Technology team, laying off three employees in the process.
It’s possible that Huobi is shrinking Brazil operations because of financial issues as the bear market extends its reachig into 2018. It's also possible however, that Huobi faced problems with Brazilian regulation - with other exchanges such as Bitcoin Max seeing difficulties in securing a bank account.