Moonvember kicks off with sweeping staff layoffs across crypto – Cointelegraph
There are still pockets of hope, however, with some companies looking to expand despite the market conditions.
The crypto and tech industry has seen a slew of staff cuts this week against a backdrop of difficult market conditions, though on a positive note, some are bucking the trend.
Crypto companies, including crypto exchanges, venture capital firms and blockchain developers, have been forced to reduce headcount in order to stay nimble amid the bear market. Some, however, have done the opposite, opening up offices in new locations and markets.
It comes a few weeks after multiple high-level executives, such as OpenSea’s former chief financial officer, Kraken’s co-founder Jesse Powell and Ripple Labs’ engineering director, have all made headlines for either exiting or stepping down from their roles in the space.
Patrick Collison, CEO of payments processor Stripe, said in a Nov. 3 memo that 14% of the firm’s staff — around 1,000 employees — would be laid off, citing “inflation, energy costs, higher interest rates, reduced investment budgets, and sparser startup funding” as reasons for the cuts.
Collison added it “overhired for the world we’re in,” saying Stripe was “too optimistic” about short-term e-commerce growth, underestimating the impact of a wider market downturn and that its operating costs grew too quickly.
The memo says the headcount changes will be uneven across Stripe, and it’s unclear what departments will be affected or how it will affect the crypto side of its business. The payments startup released a crypto payouts product in April for Twitter creators.
Flow blockchain developer Dapper Labs made the decision on Nov. 2 to cut 22% of its headcount, impacting roughly 130 employees in a memo by founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou.
Gharegozlou said the “macroeconomic environment” and the company’s growth from 100 to over 600 employees in less than two years prevented the firm from being “as aligned, nimble, and community-driven as we need to be.”
He said Dapper Labs “streamlined and focused” its product strategy around a “more sustainable cost structure” and looked at the skills it needed for the future when deciding who to lay off.
Web3 conglomerate and venture capital firm Digital Currency Group (DCG) let go of around 10% of its workforce, according to a Nov. 1 Bloomberg report that saw 10 employees exit the company bringing its headcount to a total of 66.
The cuts were reportedly part of a restructuring with Mark Murphy, DCG’s chief operating officer, also promoted to president, a spokesperson said DCG “made a series of internal changes” to position the company “for its next phase of growth” that included “streamlining” of departments.
Cointelegraph contacted DCG to confirm the report but did not receive a response.
Galaxy Digital, the crypto firm founded by Michael Novogratz, is also looking at a potential staff cut of around 20% — as much as 75 positions — as per a Nov. 1 Bloomberg report that cited sources familiar with the matter.
The company neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, with a spokesperson only saying the firm is “considering optimal team structure and strategy.” Yahoo Finance data shows shares of Galaxy Digital are down around 76% year to date, alongside a similar drawdown in crypto prices.
Galaxy Digital was contacted by Cointelegraph to verify the report but did not receive a response.
Crypto exchange BitMEX is also making drawdowns across its employees in conjunction with a strategy to pivot away from spot trading and custody services and instead refocus on crypto derivatives.
A BitMEX spokesperson told Cointelegraph on Nov. 1 that an earlier report citing 30% of staff would be cut was “inaccurate and too high,” but with its focus back on derivates trading, an “undesirable consequence” was that “we had to make changes to our workforce.”
The now former chief product officer for crypto exchange Coinbase, Surojit Chatterjee, in a Nov. 3 LinkedIn post revealed he had left his position at the company saying “it’s time to get off the ride and catch my breath.”
After nearly 3 incredible years as CPO @coinbase, I’m taking a breather & stepping down. Thanks to the entire CB team – I’m looking forward to continuing to serve @brian_armstrong and the exec team as an advisor. I’ve shared some reflections here: https://t.co/y5qM9VaJ36
Chatterjee’s stint at Coinbase lasted three years but said he’d continue to help the company by serving as an adviser to its CEO Brian Armstrong. He said the personal break comes to spend more family time after his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and his mother unexpectedly passed away.
An Oct. 28 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing by Coinbase says with Chatterjee’s departure its product, engineering and design teams “are being reorganized within a product group structure under which the leaders of such groups will assume responsibility for Coinbase’s product offerings.”
Meanwhile, crypto exchange OKX appears to be looking to scoop up staff and said on Nov. 3 it plans to fill 100 job openings.
Related: Fidelity to beef up crypto unit by another 25% with 100 new hires
The open positions will only be available to Bahamian local talent as OKX registered as a digital asset business in The Bahamas, forming a new subsidiary to serve as the company’s regional hub and opening an office in the archipelagic nation’s capital city Nassau.
At least 130 new hires based in Singapore will be added over the next three years at blockchain infrastructure firm Paxos, according to a Nov. 2 Bloomberg report, after its local unit received a license to offer digital token payment services.
Paxos Co-founder Rich Teo said up to 180 might be brought in over the three years which would boost its headcount to around 200, a nine-times increase from its current team of 20 in the city-state.
In October, $4.5 trillion asset management firm Fidelity Investments told Cointelegraph it is set to hire another 100 people to bolster the firm’s growing digital assets division.
Fidelity, in a statement to Cointelegraph, said that the firm was in a “unique position” to offer exposure to the “emerging” digital asset sector — as its reasons for pushing for more talent to bolster its Digital Assets arm.