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Blockchain.com has become the latest crypto company to announce mass layoffs. Earlier today, the exchange said it was cutting its workforce by 25%, or about 150 people.
The whole Argentina arm of the exchange will be shuttered and plans for expansion into other territories have been halted. Some 44% of the cuts impact employees in Argentina, while about a quarter of the affected workforce are from the USA and 16% from the United Kingdom.
The exchange is tightening its purse strings after taking a $270 million hit from exposure, in the form of U.S. Dollar and crypto loans, to the now-bankrupt Singapore-based crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, aka 3AC.
In total, 3AC owes an eye watering $3.5 billion to its creditors, $2.36 billion of which come from one loan from crypto broker Genesis Global Trading.
Crypto layoff season
In recent weeks, several high-profile lenders, including Voyager and Celsius, have filed for bankruptcy, although in Voyager’s case, as in crypto lender Blockfi’s, help has come in the form of bailouts from crypto exchange FTX.
So, broadly speaking, there’s a liquidity crisis, or a “crypto winter,” which has also seen big crypto companies making large cuts to their workforces.
On June 2, Gemini, a crypto exchange owned by billionaires Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, was among the first of the crypto titans to announce it was firing employees. A blog post said the company would be cutting approximately 10% of its workers, due to “turbulent market conditions that are likely to persist for some time.”
was next. In a blog post announcing 1,100 layoffs, or 18% of its workforce, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong wrote: "It is now clear to me that we over-hired." Only the previous week, Coinbase announced it had frozen hiring and rescinded job offers it had made to prospective employees.
Last week, marketplace OpenSea announced on Twitter it was getting rid of 20% of its team, citing “an unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability."
Meanwhile, the world’s largest crypto exchange, , remains poker-faced; in mid-June, CEO Changpeng Zhao announced that it’s still hiring.