BlockchainCom – a crypto financial services company – has let go of 25% of its employees due to harsh market conditions. That’s 150 roles cleared from the firm.
A Loss of Momentum
As reported by CoinDesk and verified by CNBC, 44% of layoffs are expected to affect employees in Argentina. Another 26% will impact U.S.-based staff, with another 16% impacted in the U.K.
A spokesperson from the firm told CoinDesk that this brings the exchange’s headcount back to January levels. The firm grew from 150 to 600 employees over the past 16 months, before its recent downsizing.
The company’s CFO announced plans to go public in August and reaffirmed those plans in April following IPO negotiations with several banks. It also launched an asset management business that same month.
However, it has been forced to slow its various forays into institutional lending, NFTs, blockchain gaming, and other areas with its now shrunken team. The CoinDesk spokesperson added that both executive salaries and CEO compensation have also been reduced.
Laid-off workers have been provided with severance benefits ranging from four to twelve weeks. This comes alongside job placement assistance through a third party for U.S. and U.K employees.
BlockchainCom is one of many industry leaders that held exposure to Three Arrow Capital (3AC) – the crypto VC firm that filed for bankruptcy in early July. The company’s CEO Peter Smith said two weeks ago that the fallout could cause his company to lose $270 million worth of crypto and US dollars.
“[BlockchainCom] remains liquid, solvent and our customers will not be impacted,” Smith said in a letter at the time.
The firm has cooperated with law enforcement agencies to investigate 3AC, and ideally liquidate the firm’s assets. “We believe Three Arrows Capital defrauded the crypto industry and intend to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” said the firm.
Layoffs Across the Industry
Nearly all major crypto exchanges and firms have announced layoffs of similar magnitude in response to the crypto bear market. Both Coinbase and BlockFi fired 18% and 20% of staff, respectively, in June – with the former admitting that it overhired during the bull market.
OpenSea – the world’s largest NFT marketplace – also downsized by 20% last week. “We have entered an unprecedented combination of crypto winter and macroeconomic instability,” said the CEO in a statement.
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