New Delhi: Leading cryptocurrency exchange Blockchain.com has laid off 25 per cent of its workforce, nearly 150 employees, amid the global economic meltdown. The digital assets trading firm said it will shut its Argentina-based offices and halt its expansion plans globally, reports CoinDesk. Severance benefits ranging from four weeks to 12 weeks will be offered to those who are laid off, said the crypto platform.
The company, which recently disclosed a $270 million shortfall from lending from now-bankrupt hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, said the decision to cut the workforce is taken amid “harsh bear market conditions and the need to absorb financial losses”. Nearly 44 per cent of the sacked employees are in Argentina, 26 per cent in the US, 16 per cent in the UK and the rest in other countries.
Blockchain.com is also downsizing its institutional lending business, halting all mergers and acquisitions and placing a pause on efforts to expand gaming and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. Several crypto exchanges and lending platforms have downsized their workforce in recent months. After terminating nearly 10 per cent of staff some time back owing to “turbulent market conditions'”, crypto exchange Gemini earlier this week laid off more employees in the second round of layoffs.
Gemini is likely to lay off more employees in the next rounds. Last week, non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea’s co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer announced that the platform is laying off about 20 per cent of its total employees. Cryptocurrency lending company Celsius Network, that recently laid off 150 employees, has filed for bankruptcy in the US amid extreme market conditions.
The bankruptcy came as popular crypto tokens such as Bitcoin and Ethereum nosedived by nearly 70 per cent from their record highs amid the economic meltdown. Last month, cryptocurrency exchange Vauld, which has frozen all activities on its platform, decided to reduce its headcount by about 30 per cent.