Crypto firms are still reeling from a brutal market crash during the second quarter, triggered by the implosion of stablecoin terraUSD and its cryptocurrency pair luna.
Just months earlier, finance professionals were flocking from the City of London and Wall Street to cryptoland. Now companies have been forced to cut jobs in a bid to cut costs, and even some of the biggest players in the industry, including Coinbase, have been hit hard.
Since May, the number of job losses has steadily increased and currently stands at more than 4,000, according to Financial news calculations from public and non-public statements. Here’s who is downsizing and why.
Crypto.com – at least 520 jobs
Crypto.com chief executive Kris Marszalek said on June 10 that it would cut about 5% of its workforce, or about 260 jobs.
The announcement came seven months after the company spent $700 million to rename the Staples Center, a major sports venue in Los Angeles, to Crypto.com Arena.
Then on August 16, Decryptreported that the company made a second round of cuts that was worse than the first, which would mean at least 520 jobs would have been lost in total.
Crypto.com declined to comment.
Genesis Global – at least 50 jobs
Genesis Global Trading said it would cut the jobs of one in five of its 260 employees, after court documents showed it loaned $2.4 billion to crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which was liquidated in June.
The brokerage’s chief executive, Michael Moro, is also leaving the company, which is a subsidiary of crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group. Genesis said it has started looking for a full-time CEO.
Robinhood – 1,000 jobs
Robinhood, the trading platform which has an extensive crypto arm, announced that it would lay off almost a quarter of its staff, or around 780 workers, on August 2. It was Robinhood’s second round of layoffs for 2022 and brought the total number of layoffs to more than 1,000.
“Last year, we staffed many of our operational functions on the assumption that increased retail engagement…would persist through 2022,” chief executive Vlad Tenev said. “As CEO, I have endorsed and taken responsibility for our ambitious staffing trajectory – it’s on me.”
Blockchain.com – 150 jobs
Crypto exchange Blockchain.com confirmed on July 21 that it was cutting a quarter of its workforce, including those in the US and UK.
It also canceled expansion plans in several countries and closed its offices in Argentina.
The company was a creditor to collapsed crypto hedge fund ThreeArrowsCapital, to which it loaned more than $300 million.
Celsius – 150 jobs
Celsius cut 150 jobs as it battled a liquidity crunch. A source at the crypto exchange confirmed the job cuts at Financial news The 4th of July.
The crypto exchange has since filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and owed users $4.7 billion as of July 19.
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Coinbase – 1,100 jobs
Coinbase said it would cut 18% of its employees on June 14, or about 1,100 people. CEO Brian Armstrong blamed economic conditions, adding that the company grew “too quickly” during the 2021 crypto bull run.
At the start of last year, Coinbase had 1,250 employees. It had risen to nearly 6,000 by the end of the first quarter of 2022. Shares of the company have fallen more than 70% this year.
The pain may not be over for Coinbase. Goldman Sachs wrote in a research note on June 27 that the stock market may have to cut even more jobs to reduce overhead.
Gemini – 168 jobs
Another exchange, Gemini, announced it was cutting 10% of its workforce on June 2. The company has around 1,000 employees, which means around 100 would likely have been affected.
Then, on July 18, an additional 7% of its remaining workers would have been hit by a second round of cuts, according to Tech Crunch.
A source told the outlet that around 68 people were notified they were being made redundant on Gemini’s company-wide Slack channel. Financial news approached Gemini for a comment.
BlockFi – 170 jobs
Lender BlockFi said it would cut 20% of its 850 workforce, or 170 employees, on June 13.
General Manager Zac Prince tweeted that it had been hit by a “dramatic change in macroeconomic conditions”, which had a “negative impact” on growth.
OpenSea – 60 jobs
Non-fungible token market OpenSea said on July 14 that it had laid off about 20% of its workforce, or nearly 60 employees.
In a Tweeterchief executive Devin Finzer said, “We need to prepare the business for the possibility of a prolonged downturn.”
Bitpanda – 270 jobs
Austrian crypto-trading platform Bitpanda said on June 24 that it was reducing its workforce to 730 from around 1,000.
The Peter Thiel-backed company wrote in a blog post: “Looking back, we realize our hiring speed was unsustainable. It was a mistake.”
Buenbit – 80 jobs
Argentinian crypto exchange Buenbit dismiss 45% of its employees on May 23, saying its new workforce was around 100. This implies cuts of around 80 jobs.
Ignite – 50 jobs
Ignite, the company that created the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem, cut around 50 jobs on July 1, according to a news outlet Coindesk.
Banxa – 70 jobs
Australian crypto exchange Banxa cut at least 70 jobs on June 27, or about 30% of its workforce, according to the Australian Financial Review.
“Banxa must take decisive action to reduce costs now, otherwise our business cannot be successful in the long term,” chief executive Holger Arians reportedly said in a letter to employees. The cuts included Banxa European general manager Jan Lorenc.
Mercado Bitcoin – 86 jobs
2TM, the holding company of Brazil’s Softbank-backed Mercado Bitcoin exchange, said it cut at least 86 jobs on June 3.
“The changing global financial landscape, rising interest rates and inflation have had a major impact on technology companies,” 2TM said in a statement.
Name – 80 jobs
Another Brazilian crypto exchange, Bitso, also laid off 80 people on May 26, it said in a statement. The cuts amounted to around 45% of its staff.
Bullish.com – 30 jobs
Crypto exchange Bullish.com reportedly laid off just under 30 people on July 5, according to crypto news outlet The block.
The Cayman Islands-based company employed 390 people, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in late June.
Compass Mining – 12 jobs
Compass Mining laid off 15% of its workforce – about 12 people – on July 7, its co-founders said in a statement.
The crypto-mining company said it had grown too quickly, adding that it would reassess its strategy in the future.
To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Alex Daniel