Bithumb, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, plans to cut its staffing levels by up to 50 percent, according to a CoinDesk Korea report issued Monday, a move that would reduce its number of employees from 310 at the start of March to around 150.
When reached, an official at the company confirmed the 50 percent figure, adding that it expects those departing will mostly be employees who already want to leave the company.
“Voluntary retirement is part of our support program for former employees and is intended to provide assistance and training for job placement,” said the Bithumb official. “Apart from that, [Bithumb’s] trading volume has decreased compared to the previous year, [so] we are trying to provide internal measures. We will continue to add necessary personnel for various new businesses.”
The move comes on the heels of similar decisions by other cryptocurrency companies that have been forced to respond to the ongoing decline in the value of the market in recent months.
The company behind cryptocurrency project Dash said earlier this month that it’s also reducing its staffing levels in a cost-cutting effort brought on by the “crypto winter.” Similarly, since the start of the year, smart contract auditing firm Hosho has said it’s laying off 80 percent of staff, and blockchain project Nebulas has cut numbers by 60 percent.
Ethereum studio Consensys announced that projects under its umbrella would have to find financing or also face cut-backs late last year.