Lagging crypto markets have landed another blow on the industry’s workforce.
Gemini Trust Co. is laying off 10% of staff in an effort to help the firm weather “crypto winter,” billionaire brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, President and CEO, announced on Thursday.
The brothers reaffirmed that they believe the “crypto revolution” is well underway, but said that its current trajectory has forced them to reevaluate the size of their workforce.
“We have asked team leaders to ensure that they are focused only on products that are critical to our mission and assess whether their teams are right-sized for the current, turbulent market conditions that are likely to persist for some time,” they wrote. “After much thought and consideration, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to part ways with approximately 10% of our workforce.”
All of the firm’s physical offices have been closed and laid-off employees will have one-on-one meetings with their managers to discuss severance packages, the brothers wrote in their memo.
Gemini lay-offs and crypto’s downturn
The latest contraction has caused the global crypto market cap to fall from its November high of $2.9 trillion to $1.2 billion today.
That’s been compounded by ongoing macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil. Inflation has reached 8.5%, the highest it’s been since the 1980s, according to the Department of Labor, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been ongoing for more than three months.
On Thursday morning, Gemini was the ninth-largest spot crypto exchange, according to CoinMarketCap, having seen $125 million in volume over the past day.
Today’s news also comes just as publicly-traded cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (COIN) emerges from a 2-week hiring freeze that began in mid-May.
“Heading into this year, we planned to triple the size of the company,” Emilie Choi, the company’s COO and president, wrote in a blog post. “Given current market conditions, we feel it’s prudent to slow hiring and reassess our headcount needs against our highest-priority business goals.”
The third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, which did $2.4 billion in volume over the past day, has seen its share price shed 71% since its initial public offering last April. On Thursday morning, it was trading at $68.63 per share.
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