Mining conglomeration Bitmain may lay off another 50% of its staff ahead of May’s bitcoin halving. 

In December, Chinese media outlet Wushuo Blockchain reported that Bitmain had launched a “personnel optimization plan” to lay off a significant portion of its workforce ahead of the next bitcoin halving. The layoffs are expected to occur before Jan. 17, when the mining rig manufacturer will host its annual meeting. 

Those familiar with the situation claim the layoffs are in response to bitcoin’s halving event, which will cut the total block reward from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC per block. Dovey Wan, founding partner of crypto fund Primitive Ventures, called Bitmain’s layoffs the “first halving” of 2020. 

Bitmain has a history of massive layoffs. In December 2018, the company cut ties with roughly half of its employees, saying at the time, 

A part of [building a sustainable business] is having to really focus on things that are core to that mission and not things that are auxiliary. As we move into the new year we will continue to double down on hiring the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.

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