Crypto exchange Huobi Global has announced plans to shed hundreds of jobs, amounting to about a fifth of its workforce, after competitor FTX imploded last year.
Huobi, one of the world’s best-known digital asset companies founded in China, said the job cuts were a result of the “bear market” in crypto, adding that it will try to recruit a “very lean team.” keep.
The company described the job cuts as “personnel optimization” “in order to implement the brand strategy and optimize the structure [and] increase efficiency”.
Huobi is the third-biggest crypto player, announcing this week a downsizing after a painful 2022 that saw several large firms collapse and the value of tokens like Bitcoin broke in. Silvergate, a crypto-focused US bank, said Thursday it would lay off about 40 percent of its employees, while digital asset lender Genesis is shedding 30 percent of its staff.
Justin Sun, an advisory board member at Huobi Global and a Chinese crypto entrepreneur, told the Financial Times that job cuts would begin as early as next month and that “most” of the losses would be in Asia. “We are gradually reducing our concentration in Asia, although the region will remain an important market,” he said.
The announcement came at a time of growing concerns about trading platforms like Huobi and industry leader Binance following the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX empire late last year.
According to data provider CryptoCompare, Huobi’s internal token dubbed “HT” is down 10 percent since Wednesday and about 25 percent over the past month. Sun, also the founder of cryptoBlockchain Tronsaid he wasn’t concerned about the risks of a large withdrawal push at Huobi, like the one that ultimately pushed FTX over the edge, and said the exchange can handle customers redeeming tokens.
“We are not in financial trouble,” Sun said in a voice message, explaining that Huobi’s current performance “is not in line with its operational targets” due to redundancy and market deterioration, adding that the reduction plans are “largely done.” However, he cannot say whether there could be another round of job cuts. He also said that employees’ year-end bonuses had been reduced.
Sun added: “The [job cuts] nothing to do with FTX.”
While Sun and Huobi’s statement did not confirm the number of employees affected, Sun told the FT in October that Huobi had about 1,600 employees worldwide.
In his October interview with the FT ahead of FTX’s collapse, Sun struck a more upbeat tone when he said the company plans to expand its workforce to around 2,000 employees, having recently hired staff in Kenya and Nigeria. He also said the company plans to move its headquarters from the Seychelles to the Caribbean.
Huobi is the 16th largest crypto exchange in the world based on daily trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap, with a 24-hour trading volume of about $340 million — about 4 percent of Binance’s volume. The platform was number two globally, but slipped after China’s 2021 ban on crypto transactions, hammering out its biggest market at the time.
FTX’s disgraced founder, Bankman-Fried, held talks with Sun in November as he attempted to bail out the now-bankrupt platform by seeking a capital raise to avoid the company’s collapse.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch