The onset of Crypto Winter is not only affecting retail investors. Six of the most important cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S. and Latin America have announced massive layoffs and changes in their hiring policies to adapt to the new macroeconomic circumstances.
2TM, the company behind Mercado Bitcoin, announced it would lay off 12% of its 750 workers due to "changes in the global financial landscape." Mercado Bitcoin is the largest crypto exchange in Latin America by trading volume.
"The scenario requires adjustments that go beyond the reduction of operating expenses, making it necessary also to lay off part of our employees," said 2TM in a statement. “The process we have carried out has been guided by transparency and respect, to honor the legacy of each employee who has helped us get this far.”
Bitso lays off 10% of its staff, Buenbit lays off 45%
Last week, other major LatAm crypto companies took similarly bearish measures.
Bitso, Mexico's largest exchange and the second-largest Latin American crypto platform, announced the cutting of 80 employees last Thursday amid tightening conditions affecting the industry.
Bitso had more than 700 employees when the measure was announced. The policy changes are focused not only on staff reduction but also on redesigning the company's activities. All in all, the company still has about 60 vacancies in strategic areas such as accounting, tax, legal consulting, fraud detection, and product and software development.
Buenbit, one of the leading cryptocurrency investment platforms in Argentina, had to take more drastic measures, laying off 45% of its staff, shrinking from about 180 to 100 active workers.
Federico Ogue, CEO of Buenbit, noted that the company has had to redefine its strategy to have a greater presence in the crypto industry of the future. He also emphasized that the executive team made its move after many months of evaluation.
"After a 2021 of exponential growth for the tech industry, we find ourselves going through a global review stage," Ogue said in a Twitter thread, "Given this new context, we decided to reduce staff and put on hold our expansion plan to focus exclusively on the operation of the countries where we are present today and maintain a self-sustaining and efficient structure." he assured.
It's also Winter in the United States
In the northern hemisphere, two of the most important exchanges in the United States recently announced changes in their hiring policy, notably reducing their staff.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange owned by the famous Winklevoss twins, announced yesterday a layoff of 10% of its staff in an effort to weather the crypto winter and maintain its long-term goals.
“After much thought and consideration, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to part ways with approximately 10% of our workforce." The Winklevoss announced on Thursday.
And shortly after Gemini's announcement, Coinbase took its turn. The company had already announced its plans to slow down hiring. Still, this week it went even further, announcing the cancellation of job offers for those new hires who had not yet joined their roles.
“As these discussions have evolved, it’s become evident that we need to take more stringent measures to slow our headcount growth,” wrote L.J. Brock, Coinbase's chief people officer in a blog post. “Adapting quickly and acting now will help us to successfully navigate this macro environment and emerge even stronger, enabling further healthy growth and innovation."
Of course, it’s not just crypto companies making emergency adjustments. In April, Robinhood, a cryptocurrency and stock trading app, also laid off 9% of its team, following a sharp slowdown in growth–a sign that winter is hitting equities markets, not just crypto.