Hong Kong's OSL becomes the latest crypto exchange to cut jobs

Quick Take

  • OSL has laid off 40 to 60 employees, sources tell The Block.
  • An OSL spokesperson confirmed the layoffs, without commenting on the specific numbers.

OSL, a licensed crypto exchange based in Hong Kong, has become the latest crypto exchange to cut jobs — joining rivals including Coinbase, Gemini and BitMEX.

The company has trimmed between 40 and 60 jobs, or about 15% of its workforce, two people familiar with the matter told The Block. The cuts were announced internally on Wednesday, the sources said. 

An OSL spokesperson confirmed the layoffs, without commenting on the specific numbers. "OSL has made the difficult decision to reduce headcount," the spokesperson said. "This decision was not made lightly, and we understand the impact that this may have on employees."

OSL says it is the first and only insured and Securities and Futures Commission-licensed digital asset platform, providing exchange, brokerage, custody and software-as-a-service (SaaS) products for institutional clients and professional investors. Besides operating an exchange in Hong Kong, OSL also provides SaaS solutions from Singapore. BC Technology Group (BC Group), a Hong Kong public company, is the parent company of OSL.

The OSL spokesperson added that the company has "adjusted our business model to renew our focus on SaaS, and professional and institutional counterparts."

The spokesperson stressed that the jobs cuts are not due to OSL's exposure to any troubled crypto firms or tokens, including staked ether (stETH) and TerraUSD (UST).

"It is important to note that OSL has not had any exposure to stETH, luna or UST," they said. "Nor have we had exposure to any of the firms reportedly facing solvency issues."

They went on to say that "Our regulatory requirements provide significant levels of investor protection which we believe will likely become mandatory for licensed participants over time."

OSL's parent BC Group is backed by high-profile investors, including Fidelity International and GIC, a Singaporean sovereign wealth fund.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.