The year 2018 was the worst for cryptocurrencies, ever since they came into being in 2009. Majority of the digital tokens kept bleeding, and many of them lost 90% in price value. Largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin kept losing for six consecutive months, finally breaking the trend in February earlier this year.
Cryptocurrency market reached its peak in December 2017. Will Bitcoin attend its highest ever price of over $19,700? Since then the market has seen a slum in transaction volumes, which severely affected businesses of crypto exchanges as well. As business went down, crypto exchanges started finding ways to shed costs and minimize losses.
Recently, the biggest crypto exchange in South Korea, Bithumb is reportedly planning to cut jobs by almost 50%. This will bring down its employee count from the current 310 to around 150. The news was confirmed by company officials stating that the departing employees will mostly be those who already wished to quit the company. The company official further added that voluntary retirement is part of Bithumb’s support program for former employees, and is intended to provide assistance and training for job placement.
Bithumb, however, is not the only crypto exchange to fire its employees in the name of cost-cutting, in a bid to tackle falling businesses and growing costs. Blockchain-based smart contract auditing firm Hosho announced earlier this year that it would be laying off as many as 80% of its total employees due to declining business. Another blockchain based business, Nebulas, said that it would be laying off 60% of its staff.
Experts across the globe had been raising their voices on the rising prices of established cryptocurrency is like Bitcoin and Ethereum stating that it would lead to a steep fall in the market. Unfortunately, predictions turned out to be true in the market had a severe downfall throughout 2018. One of the major reasons for the downfall of the crypto market is an excessive rise of speculation in the crypto space.
Cryptocurrencies came to existence with the sole motto of creating a potent alternative for traditional currencies. However instead of being an instrument of payment cryptocurrency is turned out to be another financial asset, with prices skyrocketing. This made the intended use of making day-to-day payments almost impossible. Since Bitcoin reached its peak in December 2017, it has lost almost $16,000 in price value, as it is currently priced at $3,900-$4,000.
The exorbitant prices made it almost impossible for the masses two adopted in substitution of traditional currencies. Until and unless the cryptocurrency space is adopted on a large scale the market will continue to decline and face several issues. Of late, a few cryptocurrencies have emerged which are affordable and are designed to be used as payment instruments. If such currencies survive in the market and are adopted on a large scale, crypto exchanges will see a boom in the business and will prevent them from laying off employees to reduce costs. Until then the road for all elements in the crypto space is extremely bumpy.
The advent of Facebook’s coin, which is purely targeted towards cross-border transactions and other similar projects are the future of cryptocurrencies as they have the potential for large scale adoption. Recently America’s largest investment bank JPMorgan became the first US bank to launch its own cryptocurrency.
This can be understood by the example of blockchain platform which powered cryptocurrencies. Though cryptocurrencies have been facing difficult times, the same is not the case with blockchain, is it kept flourishing steadily. Recently, the Seoul Medical Centre, which is the biggest hospital in South Korea, announced its plans to implement blockchain to improve its services.