Bullish Joins Rival Crypto Exchanges in Cutting Workforce: Report

Some employees have been laid off, but the exchange is still hiring for product, engineering and other strategic roles


blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • Bullish delayed its plan to go public via a merger, pushing back the deal’s termination date to December
  • Investors including Block.one, Peter Thiel and Alan Howard together injected $10 billion in funding the exchange last year

Peter Thiel-backed cryptocurrency exchange Bullish is yet another firm dealing with pressure stemming from the crypto market liquidity drought.

The Gibraltar-registered company has laid off less than 30 employees, The Block reported on Tuesday, citing a source familiar with the matter. The exchange employs more than 395 people, according to its website, meaning that the layoffs represent a 7% cut to its workforce.

A company spokesperson confirmed the job cuts according to the report, adding that Bullish is still hiring for product, engineering and other strategic roles.

The downturn in cryptocurrency markets has led to a series of firms cutting back on expenses or letting go of employees, including Coinbase, BlockFi, Crypto.com, Vauld, Gemini and Ignite. Some commentators expect market volatility and ensuing financial challenges to continue for the foreseeable future.

“I think there probably is some meaningful pain in the short term,” Noah Hamman, CEO of AdvisorShares, told Blockworks. “We think it will work itself out, but some companies won’t make it through. But then we feel it’s almost like a refresh…a little bit cleansing,” he added.

Bullish, a unit of blockchain software firm Block.one, has offices in Hong Kong, New York, Washington DC, Virginia, Singapore, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands. 

The exchange, launched in 2021 with $10 billion in funding, originally targeted only institutional investors. But it later expanded services, including automated market making, lending and portfolio management, to retail users. Among its backers are Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital and Founders Fund, British hedge fund manager Alan Howard, Galaxy Digital and Japanese investment bank Nomura.

In July last year, Bullish said it planned to go public via a merger with Far Peak Acquisition Corporation, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). That deal hasn’t closed yet, and the termination date was recently extended to Dec. 31, 2022. Bullish said it paid Far Peak an extension fee of $2.5 million and expects the deal to close in the third quarter this year.

If the deal goes through as intended, Bullish will become a publicly-listed company and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bullish didn’t immediately return Blockworks’ request for comment.

This story has been edited to correct the number of employees laid off.

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