Micree Ketuan Zhan, the co-founder of Bitmain who was recently dismissed by Bitmain’s current CEO Jihan Wu, has publicly opposed layoffs at the firm.

As Bitmain — the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining firm — is reportedly planning to cut its workforce by 50% before the next Bitcoin (BTC) halving, Zhan claimed that he is “firmly opposed to layoffs” in a Jan. 6 Weibo post addressed to Bitmain employees.

Zhan argues that Bitmain cannot lose its leadership in a highly competitive market

Apart from claiming that Bitmain does not need to lay off its team, Zhan argued that such a move would basically be suicide for the company. He wrote:

“To all employees of Bitmain: I am firmly opposed to layoffs! We don't need to lay off people! We cannot play suicide!”

Zhan argued that Bitmain’s cash flow is healthy, and “there is a substantial amount of virtual cryptocurrency.” Zhan, who is Bitmain’s biggest shareholder with a reported 60% stake, outlined the company’s leading position in the highly competitive cryptocurrency mining market. He stressed that cutting Bitmain’s staff in half would just allow other mining firms to grab up Bitmain’s market share.

Bitmain reportedly started cutting staff this morning

Meanwhile, Bitmain “staff optimization” allegedly started this morning, according to local reports on Jan. 6. Bitmain has reportedly provided its employees with a compensation plan, while some employees have signed a termination agreement. Additionally, a number of headhunters have purportedly started communicating with resigned Bitmain employees.

When reached for comment, a Bitmain spokesperson stated, “Depending on market conditions and business developments, we continue to make adjustments to our staff. As a result, we also are continuously on the lookout for new talent and welcome applicants from all walks of life.”

“Bitmain Drama”

The news brings a fresh twist in a series of events referred to as “Bitmain Drama” by the crypto community. After Zhan was dismissed by Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu in November 2019, the executive subsequently initiated court proceedings against the company in a bid to restore his voting control of the firm.

Meanwhile, Wu recently resurfaced as Bitmain CEO after both he and Zhan announced plans to step down from their co-CEO positions in January 2019.