Crypto exchange Blockchain.com will cut its workforce by 25%, according to multiple sources.
The cryptocurrency exchange had rapidly expanded during the bull market, taking on 450 staff in the last 16 months. Now the company intends to reverse course, reducing their 600 strong team by around 150 workers, or 25% of its workforce.
The U-turn means Blockchain.com will cease all operations in Argentina, and will cancel any further expansion plans for the foreseeable future.
Of the workers cut, 44% of positions will be in Argentina, with 26% and 16% of cuts in the U.S. and U.K. respectively. The remaining roles the company will cut will be from workers in other territories.
Bear market woes
Blockchain.com is by no means the only firm to make cutbacks during the most recent bear cycle. Coinbase, BlockFi, and Crypto.com have all been among the firms to lay off workers.
Blockchain.com also had significant exposure to the fallen venture capital (VC) firm Three Arrows Capital (3AC). The exchange was among the creditors who pushed for the liquidation of 3AC after the VC defaulted on $270 million in loans.
A spokesperson for Blockchain.com summed up their anger: “We believe Three Arrows Capital defrauded the crypto industry and intend to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
With any chance of retrieving the money some way off, the exchange has been forced to make difficult decisions. While some staff members have been shown the door, many of those who remain have been asked to take a cut.
Executive salaries and CEO compensation have been reduced as part of a package of measures the company is taking to strengthen its long term position.
The company further intends to shrink its institutional lending department while maintaining its core business, placing less emphasis on gaming and non-fungible token (NFTs). As part of the plans, Blockchain.com will focus on existing customers, reducing its marketing and advertising budget to zero.
Dreams of spring
Blockchain.com now plans to hunker down for winter as the company returns to Jan 2022 staffing levels. The exchange says that staff who have been cut will not be left out in the cold without help. Retrenched workers will receive four weeks to 12 weeks severance benefits, as well as job replacement assistance.
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