Blockchain.com Slashes 25% of Workforce, Cuts Exec Compensation

The company will drop plans to expand in multiple countries

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key takeaways

  • CEO Peter Smith told Blockworks last month that many crypto firms spent unsustainably
  • Smith and other executives will take compensation cuts

Blockchain.com is laying off 25% of its workforce to help cut expenses during tough market conditions, the company said on Thursday.

The news was first reported by CoinDesk, which said around 150 employees will lose their jobs, taking the exchange’s headcount to the same level it was at the start of the year. 

A Blockchain.com spokesperson confirmed the report when contacted by Blockworks.

The London-based exchange, which is reportedly owed $270 million from embattled hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, will also wind down offices in Argentina and drop further international expansion plans. A majority of employees affected are based in Argentina, with 44% of the job cuts happening there. More than 25% of the layoffs are based in the US, while 16% are in the UK, with the remaining located in other countries. 

All laid-off employees will be offered severance benefits ranging from four to 12 weeks and third-party assistance to find another job for employees in the US and UK. Compensation for CEO Peter Smith and company executives will also be whittled down. 

Smith told Blockworks in a recent interview that Blockchain.com is the smallest crypto company of its kind by headcount, and many firms spent unsustainably — up to $800 million — on marketing costs during the current cycle. The exchange’s investors had pushed it to spend more on marketing and grow rapidly, he added, noting that firms who did go through with such a strategy lost ground.

Founded in 2011, Blockchain.com has raised a total of $490 million over seven fundraising rounds, Crunchbase data shows. Existing investors include Baillie Gifford, Kyle Bass, Vy Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Digital Currency Group. It is among several hard-hit cryptocurrency firms that have had to diminish their headcount during the recent market downturn.

Coinbase, Crypto.com, Bullish and Vauld have all recently reduced staff, while Gemini and BlockFi have both cut jobs for the second time in two months.


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