Switzerland-based cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift has laid off a third of its team, the exchange’s CEO Erik Voorhees announced in a tweet today, Jan. 8.
According to a company blog post accompanying the Twitter announcement — entitled “Overcoming ShapeShift’s Crypto Winter and the Path Ahead” — ShapeShift has laid off 37 of its employees, reducing the size of its team by a third.
In the post, Voorhees attributes the staff cuts to the “latest bear market cycle,” noting that the company’s “greatest and worst financial decision [was] to embrace substantial exposure to crypto assets.”
The CEO also revealed in the post that during 2018, the company “got hit from four sides.” He cites legal issues, “people and structural issues,” problems with customers and financial issues as the main contributing factors, stating that the “confluence of these issues combined with our own lack of product focus that resulted in today’s layoff.”
Voorhees apologizes to those affected by the major move, and ends the post optimistically, stating:
“Among its many virtues, crypto assets enable people (and machines) to store value easily themselves and to transfer value directly to someone else, anywhere on Earth. This power is awesome and unprecedented.”
In September, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) released the results of an investigation alleging that $88.6 million in fraudulently obtained funds had been funnelled through 46 crypto exchanges, with $9 million transferred via ShapeShift.
Voorhees later refuted the implied accusations, stating that the exchange’s team had worked with WSJ journalists for five months, but “under false pretenses,” as information provided by the exchange was reportedly misrepresented or omitted.
In late December reported about rumored layoffs at Ethereum (ETH) blockchain-focused software development company ConsenSys. A source familiar with the matter reportedly said that the number of employees to be laid off could be anywhere between 50 and 60 percent of ConsenSys’ 1,200 person workforce.
Later in a Twitter thread, ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin addressed the reported downsizing, stating that “ConsenSys remains healthy and is engaging in a rebalancing of priorities and activities which started about nine months ago.” Lubin also said that the company is hiring for internal projects that “remain core to our forward looking-business.”