Investing.com – Cryptocurrencies fell on Thursday morning in Asia as two large crypto-related companies in China confirmed plans to cut staff to deal with a long bear market in cryptocurrencies.
The market value of bitcoin nosedived by 73.6% from over $255 billion in January to around $67.3 billion on Dec. 26, according to CoinMarketCap.
Bitcoin traded 2.35% lower to $3,731.8 Thursday morning in Asia while Ethereum was down 4.85% to US$126.68 at 12:20 AM ET (05:20 GMT).
XRP was down 5.06% to $0.36673 on the Poloniex exchange and Litecoin also dived 5.62% to $30.017.
China’s cryptocurrency mining equipment maker Bitmain Technology is undergoing “some adjustment to our staff this year,” the company told the South China Morning Post. Rumours on Chinese social media suggested the company would lay off over half of its employees.
“A part of that is having to really focus on things that are core to that mission and not things that are auxiliary. As we move into the new year, we will continue to double down on hiring the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds,” Bitmain was quoted as saying.
The SCMP also reported that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange had signalled reluctance to approve Bitmain’s application for an initial public offering that could be worth as much as US$3 billion.
Huobi Group, a cryptocurrency exchange in China, also said on Wednesday that it is working on “optimising staffing” by sacking underperforming employees.
Meanwhile, India is considering reversing a ban of cryptocurrencies by legalising them, likely with stringent regulations, according to the New Indian Express.
An interdisciplinary committee recommended in mid-2017 a total ban on cryptocurrencies, but the committee now appears to believe that digital currencies “cannot be dismissed as completely illegal”. The committee is expected to submit in a report to the Ministry of Finance in February.