Major Crypto Exchange Huobi Reportedly Plans to Lay Off 50% of Staff

Huobi Group, the operator of the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange, has reportedly laid off more then 100 employees last week and planned to lay off up to 50% of staff in the midst of a crypto bear market, according to a report on, a China’s leading internet portal.

A Huobi employee revealed on Christmas day that the firm has prepared a 2000-question exam paper for its entire staff, with each department setting 200 difficult exam questions. If the employee fails the test which is called “ Blockchain Qualification Exam” for the first time, he has a chance to retake it. When he fails twice, the person is possibly fired.

Another source familiar with the matter said Huobi cut over 100 employees last week, and in the near future, the downsizing might impact 50 percent of the entire Huobi’s headcount.

A Huobi representative confirmed on Tuesday the firm is indeed undergoing layoff at the moment, but said it is a move to optimize staffing by trimming its worst-performing employees. The person also added that Huobi is still hiring, despite the layoffs, and it is more focused on core businesses and emerging markets.

In response to the rumor about the blockchain-focused exam prepared for its staff, the representative said the crypto trading platform has started to prepare for the test since the beginning of 2018, with the aim of helping staff become more professional and increasing the firm’s operational efficiency.

Some verified Huobi employees on Maimai, China’s equivalent to LinkedIn, indicated that the exchange giant has started to cut staff since this October on unwarranted grounds, in an effort to reduce costs and restructure itself.  According to the exclusive report made by Brazil’s Portal Do Bitcoin, in early November, Huobi has laid off 60 percent of its employees in its Brazilian office without a specific reason.

Originally founded in China, Huobi survived the Chinese government’s crackdown on cryptocurrency trading by moving its exchange business to Singapore. The firm expanded its business at a fast pace in 2018, establishing a number of subsidiaries, ranging from Huobi Mining Pool, Huobi Wallet, Huobi Capital to Huobi Labs and Huobi News. Fueled by the company’s ambitious expansion plan, the number of its employees soared to 1,300 from nearly 300 at the beginning of 2018.

But in the prolonged bear market, all blockchain and cryptocurrency companies need to try every means to batten down the hatches in preparation for what could be a long crypto winter. Huobi’s layoff news surfaces just one day after the mining giant Bitmain confirmed to local news outlet that it conducts some adjustment to its staff after rumors swirling that the Beijing-based cryptocurrency hardware maker may cut up to 50 percent of its staff.

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