Market maker GSR lays off staff following rapid expansion

Quick Take

  • Crypto market GSR lays off less than 10% of staff to position the business for long-term growth. 
  • GSR’s headcount is currently 300 people, according to a spokesperson.

Crypto market maker and liquidity provider GSR has laid off less than 10% of staff during the third quarter of this year. 

The reduction in headcount comes as part of structural changes to position the business for long-term growth, a GSR spokesperson told The Block. 

In July of last year, the firm was on track to expand its headcount to more than 200 people from just 25 the year before, said Rich Rosenblum, co-founder of GSR, on The Scoop podcast. A spokesperson for GSR told The Block that the company currently employs 300 people.  

“After a period of rapid expansion, our focus is on improving overall efficiency and continued development of our technology and trading capabilities,” said the spokesperson. 

Founded by former Goldman Sachs executives in 2013, GSR is one of the oldest market makers in crypto. It offers services from market making to over-the-counter trading and risk management services. The firm has also been exploring NFT market-making. 

Crypto industry headwinds

The layoffs come at a time when the crypto industry is in a state of flux. Many top executives from leading crypto firms such as FTX, NYDIG, OpenSea and Genesis have stepped down from their positions.

Layoffs have also taken place across the industry at firms like Gemini, and Coinbase. 

Crypto trading firms have also struggled since the onset of the bear market.  

Genesis experienced a major reshuffle in its leadership following its high-profile losses from the defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC). The trading firm lent $2.36 billion to 3AC and its parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), stepped in to take on the firm’s liabilities and made a $1.2 billion claim against 3AC.   

Investment firm Galaxy Digital’s co-head of trading Robert Bogucki left the company to join Brevan Howard’s crypto arm BH Digital. 

Galaxy Digital also had exposure to 3AC and is listed as a creditor to the hedge fund. The investment firm posted a loss of $554 million in its recent quarterly earnings report and recently terminated a high-profile acquisition of crypto custodian BitGo. 

This story has been updated to reflect comments from GSR's spokesperson clarifying the firm's current headcount.

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