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South Korean exchange Bithumb cuts manpower by half; cites slumping trade volume




South Korea: Bithumb cuts manpower by half; cites slumping trade volume
Source: Pixabay

Bithumb, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, showed the door to half its staff. Citing declining revenue in the crypto-winter, the exchange decided to cut its losses, and reduce manpower.

A report detailing the development stated that Bithumb will let go of around 160 employees, out of a total pool of 310, by the end of March. The report further added that the employees have been let go on the basis of “voluntary retirement.”

The exchange’s spokesperson stated,

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

Trading volume on major exchanges has been declining since the crypto-winter began last year. After the market recorded a remarkable high in January 2018, the trading volume slumped again, leading to several exchanges shutting up shop.

Bithumb’s slumping trade volume, coupled with the decreasing number of new investors in the bear market, resulted in plummeting revenue and low profits. With trading down, commissions have declined, leading to the South Korean exchange taking the decision to slash its staff.

The spokesperson added,

“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.”

A January Diar report  had analyzed the trading volume of major exchanges in every quarter of 2017 and 2018, and attested the arrival of the crypto winter.

It referenced the example of the American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which saw record high volumes of $46.6 billion and $45.8 billion during the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, respectively, when Bitcoin [BTC] almost touched $20,000 and the market cap shot above $800 billion.

When the market turned, Coinbase recorded successive quarterly declines in trading volume. The trading volume dropped by 60.9 percent to $17.9 billion in the second quarter of 2018. The final two quarters saw volumes of $10.4 billion, and $9 billion respectively.

Diar research stated that what Coinbase’s volume did, was not an isolated observation as this “can be said for all major exchanges.” Coinbase’s number of trades also dropped by 61.33 percent, from the first to the fourth quarter of 2018.

Interestingly, Bithumb, following the examples of Coinbase and Bittrex, launched an Over the Counter [OTC] trading with Ortus in February 2019. Through this launch, the South Korean exchange had intended to further its trade volume. However, it did not pan out as the exchange had hoped.

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Ethereum [ETH]: Samsung planning to create its own ETH-based blockchain; may issue own token soon

Akash Anand



Ethereum [ETH]: Samsung in the works to create its own ETH-based blockchain, may issue own token soon
Source: Pixabay

The mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has come a long way, with many financial and non-financial institutions now entering the mix. Technology giant, Samsung, is not new to the field, as the South Korean organization previously blew up the cryptosphere by meshing crypto with the launch of the company’s latest flagship device, the Galaxy S10.

Latest reports now suggest that Samsung is getting more serious about virtual assets, as the company might be on its way to create its own Ethereum [ETH]-based blockchain network, with the prospect of launching its own cryptocurrency token in the near future. An anonymous official from the organization stated,

“Currently, we are thinking of private blockchain, though it is not yet confirmed. It could also be public blockchain in the future, but I think it will be hybrid—that is, a combination of public and private blockchains.”

Sources from within the company added that blockchain technology is being developed by the wireless technology division of Samsung. Despite the fact that it has not been confirmed as to what devices will provide support for the blockchain, a company official revealed that “some models are being tested for it.”

Samsung’s tryst with Ethereum has been ongoing for quite some time now, with previous developments suggesting that Ethereum could be vulnerable on the S10 device. This was evidenced by a video put out by a user ‘darkshark’ on Imgur, in which it was shown how easy it was to crack the phone. Darkshark stated,

“This brings up a lot of ethics questions and concerns. There’s nothing stopping me from stealing your fingerprints without you ever knowing, then printing gloves with your fingerprints built into them and going and committing a crime.”

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