Will A Protest Really Change Bitmain's Mind?
Chinese cryptocurrency mining hardware company Bitmain has had a tumultuous 2019. Jihan Wu, Bitmain's co-founder is back as CEO and has forced fellow co-founder Micree Zhan out of the company. Jihan Wu's return was likely due to lackluster earnings under Zhan's management and failure to conduct an IPO.
Bitmain & Staff Cuts
It seems that Jihan has been thinking quite a bit on how to improve efficiency at Bitmain since he resumed his command. His conclusion seems to have been massive lay offs of roughly 50% of Bitmain's staff that have been deemed redundant. This has been referred to internally as "employee structure optimization".
Earlier today cryptocurrency influencer and founder of Primitive Ventures, Dovey Wan uploaded a picture of Bitmain employees protesting Wu's decision.
Poor Bitmain employees who have been “optimized” out trying to protest as their last resort ...— Dovey 以德服人 Wan 🗝 🦖 (@DoveyWan) January 9, 2020
the banner said “Protesting against Bitmain’s illegal layoffs” https://t.co/vZsMHav6W8 pic.twitter.com/36yQpP0HaE
It is extremely unlikely that an employee protest will manage to change Bitmain's decision. While such an effort might have succeeded to some degree in parts of Europe, China takes a very different approach to labor. This might just be a minor hit to Bitmain's PR for the time being.
Bitmain has a staff of roughly 1500 employees with many of them being engineers. This makes a 50% staff cut seem a bit extreme as many are specialists. This could however greatly boost Bitmain's profitability in the short term and possibly even assist them with their planned IPO.
Time will tell if this move will boost Bitmain further, or put them in tighter competition with Canaan Creative, a rival ASIC mining producer.
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado