The most recent crypto crash is causing quite a lot of reviled FUD (a term used in the community for fear, uncertainty, and doubt) not only among investors but inside the companies as well, though in the latter’s case its for their job prospects. The crypto lending company BlockFi announced Monday it was slashing 20%, or around 170 people from its total staff of around 850.
In a blog post, founders Zac Prince and Floria Marquez said the cuts are impacting every team within the company. Separately, Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek wrote on twitter last Friday they were cutting 260 workers, about 5% of their workforce.
They’re not the only ones telling staff to hit the road. The crypto company Gemini recently cut 10% of its staff, equivalent to somewhere around 100 employees. In this “crypto winter” linked to the fall of the Terra/Luna ecosystem, it seems like nobody’s really able to keep warm.
“We are doing everything in our power to treat all of our impacted colleagues with the empathy and compassion that they deserve,” the BlockFi founders wrote in their post. In addition to cuts, the company is reducing spending on marketing and executive pay, though of course they didn’t say by how much. The founders further said that users and clients shouldn’t see anything change regarding their services.
Both companies blamed the current market conditions, but what’s unclear is if the most recent crypto news had anything to do with these seismic cuts. The price of multiple currencies fell Monday following a new wave of selloffs. The “extreme market conditions” prompted some crypto exchanges like Celsius to halt withdrawals altogether, which of course only made the situation that much worse. Bitcoin’s price belly-flopped below $24,000, compared to its height of $69,000 last November.
As first pointed out by Motherboard, this decline hasn’t done wonders for investors’ mental health, especially for the hoards of people who put millions of dollars into crypto on these exchanges.
The Celsius debacle may have just been extraordinarily bad timing for BlockFi’s announced layoffs. The company went onto Twitter to wave their hands and proclaim they had nothing to do with that platform that unilaterally decided to hold onto people’s bitcoin.
But as far as the companies are concerned, they maintain that things will eventually get better. The BlockFi founders wrote they are committed “to the long haul.”
Marszalek wrote that the company with 50 million users will be at the top of the heap “during the next bull run,” anticipating that “the markets will turn, and when they do, you can be sure that we will be there.”
This is of course a far cry from when at its peak, Crypto.com was slapping its name on a sports stadium and promoting digital currencies with guest appearances from famous Bostonians, telling folks in a Superbowl commercial “fortune favors the brave.” Of course any company needs to put a brave face on when times are tough, but the crypto industry in particular has an ever-demanding need for optimism in order to secure investment and grow the price of crypto.