• The investment firm recently cut 20% of staffers and received an emergency infusion of cash from crypto exchange FTX to bolster its beleaguered balance sheet
  • The layoffs come amid a spate of similar actions by other digital asset-focused companies hit hard by sliding crypto markets

Digital assets-focused investment firm BlockFi has parted ways with its head of US trading amid a broad-based restructuring, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

The move took place during a widespread crypto downturn that, in part, prompted the asset manager to lay off 20% of its employees and take a sizable emergency cash infusion from crypto exchange FTX to stabilize its business. 

Jason Wilkinson oversaw BlockFi’s US trading team and previously spent more than a decade as a senior trader at Two Rivers Trading. Wilkinson declined to comment.

A BlockFi spokesperson declined to comment. Sources were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive business dealings. 

A headhunting source, who requested anonymity for fear of alienating BlockFi, said Wilkinson ought to have “little trouble” landing a new gig — despite a suddenly tough hiring market as a result of firms including CoinBase and Babel Finance cutting staffers — given his deep traditional finance experience. 

Wilkinson was the only departure from the firm’s 12-person trading team, and the trading desk’s global head and head of Asia-Pacific trading remain with the company, one source said. The team is maintaining 24/7 trading, with no interruption to clients, the source added. 

BlockFi last week received a $250 million line of revolving credit from FTX, whose founder Sam Bankman-Fried has gone on a spending spree in both crypto and traditional assets, floating loans to bail out companies deeply underwater from the market downturn. 

While Bankman-Fried has said his motives are altruistic, industry participants have told Blockworks that his efforts put the exchange — plus his venture capital firm, Alameda Ventures — in prime position to snap up stakes in beleaguered companies or acquire them outright. 

The founder, one of the most prominent in digital assets, has said he has no day-to-day involvement in Alameda Ventures.

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  • Managing Editor
    Michael Bodley is a New York-based managing editor for Blockworks, where he focuses on the intersection of Wall Street and digital assets. He previously worked for the institutional investor newsletter Hedge Fund Alert. His work has been published in The Boston Globe, NBC News, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. Contact Michael via email at [email protected]