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Bithumb Lays Off 160 employees as the Crypto Winter Bites

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Bithumb, the largest South Korean Exchange, is in the process of firing over 150 employees. This is about a half of its workforce. According to an official privy to the matter, the exchange was reducing staff after the business went down. Trading volumes are drying up.

Most of the employees who will be laid off are those who already wish to leave the company. According to a Bithumb official, they will leave the company through a ‘voluntary retirement’ program. Per the official,

Voluntary retirement is part of our support program for former employees and is intended to provide assistance and training for job placement.

Challenges Faced by Bithumb

Bithumb now remains with around 310 employees, from different corners of the world. The company has faced many challenges in its lifetime. There have been several hack attempts, with one hack becoming successful. Bithumb has also seen lots of scrutiny from the government watchdogs.

For starters, Bithumb had to write off about $40 million in 2018. This money went to customers for the losses sustained when they lost their digital assets to the hackers. This is in addition to the money lost to the actual hackers, because that was never recovered.

The falling crypto prices did not help the matters. For the whole of last year, prices have been declining steadily. This has led to other companies in the industry closing up shop. Countries around the world also tightened their stance towards crypto. This put a lot of crypto startups into risk of closure.

The Launch of the DEX

Bithumb, despite its woes, recently expanded its offerings. It now boasts its own decentralized crypto exchange, or DEX. It joins a list of global digital asset exchanges which have launched their versions of the DEX.

Decentralized exchanges are strategic. They help exchanges like Bithumb to beat local restrictions and run its business within the legal provisions of the country it’s based in. Now that Bithumb has its DEX, it can run it using an overseas subsidiary. That way, local authorities will not have to shut it down.

Other firms which also reduced their employee count are Nebula and Dash. Nebula has reduced its workforce by 60 percent, while Dash has downsized by 50 percent. The trend is worrying and paints a grim picture of the future.

Do you think the future is going to be profitable for crypto companies? Let us know in the comment section below!

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