The prolonged bear market reduced the interest in cryptocurrencies and hampered the operations of numerous industry players. Some leading exchanges, including Coinbase, Crypto.com, Bybit, and Kraken, laid off a chunk of their workforce to cope with the challenging times.
The trend seems to be similar at the start of the new year despite the recent revival of the market, with Gemini, Blockchain.com, Coinbase, and many others announcing a new wave of layoffs.
The Dismissal Spree Goes on
Thousands of people have lost their jobs because of the unfavorable macroeconomic conditions, while the FTX crash and its consecutive domino effect appear to have triggered additional layoffs. Here is a list of crypto firms that trimmed the size of their teams between early November and now.
The Argentinean exchange Lemon Cash cut around 38% of its personnel, which equals around 100 people. CEO Cavazzoli assured the amendments are not related to the collapse of FTX, admitting that the company had a “tiny” exposure to Alameda Research.
The Mexican crypto platform Bitso dismissed around 25% of its staff at the end of November. This was the entity’s second round of layoffs which previously fired 80 individuals.
The San Francisco-based Kraken also added its name to the list, reducing its headcount by a third.
“Unfortunately, negative influences on the financial markets have continued, and we have exhausted preferable options for bringing costs in line with demand,” it said.
Bybit joined the bandwagon in early December, cutting 30% of its headcount, while the Australian exchange Swyftx followed suit with a nearly 50% layoff.
Gate.io – a trading venue based in the Cayman Islands, and Huobi did not have the best start to the new year, dismissing nearly 50% and 20%, respectively.
One of the biggest crypto exchanges – Coinbase – laid off staff for the second time on January 10, while Blockchain.com (28%) and Crypto.com (20%) did so in the following days.
The other trading platforms that recently reduced the size of their teams are CoinDCX, Amber Group, Gemini (10%), and Luno (35%).
Other Industry Players
The line-up does not include only digital asset exchanges but also companies that offer different types of services. One such example is the cryptocurrency-focused investment firm – Paradigm. It reduced salaries instead of dismissing people.
The multichain network supporting Web3 applications – Octopus Network – laid off 40% of its team members towards the end of 2022. The NFT marketplace – SuperRare – slashed 30% at the beginning of 2023, while the blockchain software technology company – ConsenSys – took the “extremely difficult decision” to let go 96 of its employees.
Silvergate Capital – a crypto-focused bank headquartered in California – trimmed 40% (around 200 people) and abandoned several projects due to unsatisfying revenue in the previous quarters.
Digital Currency Group – a venture capital company run by Barry Silbert – recently dismissed 30% and closed its wealth management division. The move came shortly after its subsidiary Genesis announced workforce reduction. Moreover, the platform also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Some Layoffs Until FTX’s Meltdown
The first wave of dismissals started at the beginning of Q2 last year (coinciding with Terra’s fallout and the consecutive market decline). BitMEX fired 25% at the time and another 30% months later.
The Argentinean platform Buenbit slashed 45% in May in an attempt to reshape its business strategy during the global monetary crisis.
June also saw a lot of companies shrinking their teams, with Coinbase, Crypto.com, Gemini, Banxa, Vauld, 2TM, and BitOasis being some examples.
OpenSea, CoinFLEX, Core Scientific, WazirX, NYDIG, Dapper Labs, and more fired employees until the FTX crash, too.
Binance is Hiring
Contrary to the countless job cuts, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange – Binance – has expansion plans. CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) assured in June last year that the firm has a “healthy war chest,” arguing the bear market is an excellent period to hire more personnel.
He doubled down this month, revealing Binance’s intentions to increase its team by up to 30%. The Chinese-Canadian executive said the team grew to 8,000 in 2022 (from around 3,000 at the start of the year).