Boom turns to bust: a summary of recent crypto layoffs

Quick Take

  • Following troubles at major crypto companies and a wider market rout, many firms have had to make layoffs.
  • This comes as an about-turn to many of these companies, which were originally planning to significantly expand their teams.

There’s been a sudden change in headwinds for crypto firms over the last two months, with the chaos centered on Celsius Network and Three Arrows Capital spreading among many other companies. This, along with a related, widespread market decline, has thrown many companies’ hiring plans into disarray. 

Chief among them are Coinbase, Gemini, BlockFi and BitMEX. All have announced significant cuts in their headcount — reversing initial targets to double or even triple staffing by the end of the year. It’s a big change in momentum. 

Despite this, some firms are planning to stay the course and have made clear statements that they intent to keep hiring, albeit perhaps not as aggressively. These include Binance, Kraken and Nexo. 

Here’s a look at which firms have had to make cuts. 

Crypto firms making layoffs 

  • Coinbase has slashed its workforce by about 18% or approximately 1,100 employees. The decision to make layoffs was, according to CEO Brain Armstrong, to “ensure we stay healthy during this economic downturn.” He also acknowledged that the company had grown too quickly and had “overhired.”  
  • US-based crypto exchange Gemini trimmed about 10% of its workforce, or around 100 employees. The company cited “current macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil” as the reason behind the layoffs. 
  • BlockFi, a crypto lending and financial services platform, fired roughly 20% of its workers, affecting more than 150 people. Co-founders Zac Prince and Flori Marquez cited "current market conditions that have had a negative impact on our growth rate and a rigorous review of our strategic positions.” 
  • Crypto derivatives trading platform BitMEX announced layoffs for 75 employees in early April. The move was made after the collapse of a bank acquisition deal. 
  • announced that as many as 260 employees — 5% of its employee base — have lost their jobs. The layoffs were made amid the company's evaluation in optimizing resources “to position [themselves] as the stronger builders during the down cycle.” 
  • Latin American crypto exchange Bitso laid off around 80 employees. Amid the cuts, the company was reported as still listing more than 60 open positions on its jobs pages. 
  • Bullish, a crypto exchange serving institutional clients, has let up to 30 employees go, out of a total staff of about 390. The company said it "continues to actively hire for product, engineering and other strategic roles."
  • Abra, a California-based crypto trading and lending platform, has cut 12 jobs, around 5% of the company's total workforce. The measure was taken “purely as a cost-saving measure,” per CEO Bill Barhydt. 
  • On the same day Abra announced layoffs, Hong Kong-based licensed crypto exchange OSL said it has cut between 40 and 60 jobs, about 15% of its workforce. A company spokesperson asserted that the job cuts were not caused by OSL’s exposure to any troubled crypto firms or tokens, including staked ether (stETH) and TerraUSD (UST). 
  • Buenbit, an Argentina-based crypto exchange, has cut the jobs of 45% of its staff — or about 80 workers. While saying that the layoffs were made due to the “global overhaul” of the tech industry, CEO Federico Ogue denied that it was linked to the recent crash of UST and Luna. 
  • 2TM, the holding company for Mercado Bitcoin, laid off more than 80 employees. The company cited “the changing global financial landscape, rising interest rates and inflation.” Mercado Bitcoin is Brazil’s biggest crypto exchange. 
  • Second-largest crypto futures exchange Bybit has laid off some of its workers, although the company did not disclose the number of jobs lost. The firm offered affected staff a severance package and access to the company's employee career support in their job transition. 
  • Austrian investing platform Bitpanda has cut the jobs of around 270 employees and cancelled offers of employment. This move happened only three weeks after the company executives announced to employees in internal Slack channels that "there will not be any kind of massive layoffs."
  • Publicly listed Australian crypto payment firm Banxa has announced that around 70 staff in its international offices in Europe and Indonesia will lose their jobs. The company has also paused all expansion efforts in Europe and will focus on its operations in Australia and the Philippines. 

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