TRON founder Justin Sun, rumored to be the shadow owner of Huobi Global, has confirmed that the crypto exchange was laying off a significant amount of its workforce. This comes amid several rumors circulating in the crypto community, all of which end with the conclusion that Huobi is reportedly insolvent.
Sun Confirms Layoff Rumors
Over the last couple of days, there have been rumors circulating on the social media platform Twitter that Huobi was laying off staff. It had started when there had been rumors that the exchange was asking employees to take their salary payments in stablecoins such as USDC or risk being fired.
Then in the last day, tweets surfaced online that the crypto exchange had shut down its communication channels for employees. One tweet which carried screenshots said that all intra-employee instant messaging apps had been shut down, and thought that some people were fired.
Huobi, one of the long-standing Chinese exchange, seems to be imploding in real time, coincidentally with Justin Sun cashing out $1.5+B in fiat since October according to his tagged wallets.
Be safe guys. pic.twitter.com/7rVQdWLexe
— Eugene Ng 🌊 (I’m Hiring) (@Eug_Ng) January 6, 2023
This had originally made the rounds on Twitter but there was no confirmation until Justin Sun told Reuters via text message on Friday morning that Huobi had indeed laid off 20% of its staff. It is expected that around 300 workers would lose their jobs from this move, which Sun referred to as a “structural adjustment” in his text message.
According to the TRON founder, this adjustment is not yet complete but is expected to be in Q1 2023. He further explained that it would lead to pain but it would only be for the short term. In the end, he believes this is the best thing for the exchange.
Huobi Takes A Hit
Coming hot on the heels of Justin Sun confirming the Huobi layoffs, the crypto exchange already saw its value tank in the market. It was already seeing an increase in withdrawals over the last day but its trading volume was already down more than 20% at the time of this writing.
Huobi saw trading volumes of $1.2 billion, according to data aggregator CoinGecko, which was 22% lower than the previous day’s volumes. The exchange’s reserves have also been called into question but its proof of reserves page on Nansen shows that the exchange still holds almost $3 billion worth of customer deposits.
Huobi reserves at $.28 billion | Source: Nansen
Its native token, HT, which makes up a large percentage of its reserves took a hit in the trading hours of Friday but saw a brief recovery. The coin’s price is down 9.79% in the last week alone but seeing meager gains of 0.67% in the last day.
HT is trading at $4.65 at the time of this writing. It is the 47th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $754 million.
HT Token price at $4.6 | Source: HTUSDT on TradingView.com