Investing.com – Bitcoin inched higher on Wednesday as investors took a breather after last week’s rally amid reports that a crypto miner and exchange were downsizing their platforms.
Bitcoin rose 0.2% to $3,717.50 on the Investing.com Index as of 10:59 AM ET (15:59 GMT), pushing its gains during the last seven days to a stellar 25%.
The cryptocurrency mining firm Bitmain confirmed that it was making “some adjustment to our staff this year” as the company focuses on its core business. Although the company did not provide concrete numbers, reports initially suggested that 50% of the workforce would be cut, though some rumors suggested it could be up to 85% of the company.
According to a report from the South China Morning Post, the company denied that it would lay off more than half its employees.
Multicoin Capital managing partner Kyle Samani suggested that the news would be extremely bearish for bitcoin cash and Litecoin given the large amounts of these digital assets on Bitmain’s balance sheet.
“Those are going to be liquidated soon to keep the lights on,” Samani claimed.
Separately, crypto exchange operator Huobi Group also confirmed plans to “optimize” its staffing as it reinforces employees for its core businesses and emerging markets.
The layoffs come as cryptocurrencies hit an industry-wide bear market in 2018. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has plummeted more than 70% this year as cryptocurrency euphoria petered out.
“Two thousand eighteen was a wake-up call, a rude awakening from the dream-like bull run of 2017 where shady entities could raise $30 million with an idea, a white paper and a website,” Han Yoon, chief executive officer of Lunar Digital Assets, wrote in a year-end piece for CoinDesk.
But far from throwing in the towel on the cryptocurrency asset class, Yoon took a positive view for blockchain technology.
“The brutal bear market we faced this year was not only necessary, it’s beneficial for the long-term outlook of this rapidly growing industry,” he added.
In other cryptocurrency trading, ethereum, or Ether, increased 1.8% to $124.77, chalking up about a 36% increase since last Friday and Litecoin was at $29.35, off 1.3%, while XRP slipped 0.6% to $0.36411.