Cryptocurrency Lender BlockFi Set To Cut Staff by a Fifth

BlockFi is the latest crypto firm to plan a mass layoff, preparing for a crypto winter


Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel


key takeaways

  • BlockFi CEO says headcount cut is in response to worsening macroeconomic conditions
  • The digital asset service provider will give affected employees opportunities to be included in a directory

Zac Prince, CEO of cryptocurrency lender BlockFi, has announced on Twitter the company will be reducing staff by around 20%.

“Like many others in tech, we’ve been impacted by the dramatic shift in macroeconomic conditions, which have had a negative impact on our growth rate. As a result, our number one goal has been to achieve profitability so that we can extend our runway and control our destiny,” Prince said on Twitter.

The lender’s move comes as crypto companies are feeling the squeeze from continued downward market pressure, joining Gemini, Coinbase and most recently in announcing hiring freezes or mass layoffs.

BlockFi has seen explosive growth, expanding from roughly 150 employees at the end of 2020 to 850 before the layoffs. In the process, it transformed from a crypto-backed lender into a full-service institutional business that provides “financing, trade execution and private client services to leading institutions globally.”

“Today is a painful day for BlockFi but more so for employees who we have to part ways with. We are doing everything in our power to treat all of our impacted colleagues with the empathy and compassion that they deserve,” a founder’s statement said.

The New Jersey-headquartered firm will give affected employees the opportunity to include their contact information in a directory of people looking for new roles, and will actively connect them with companies that will be hiring. 

In February, BlockFi settled with the SEC for failing to register its interest-bearing crypto accounts with the regulator, for which it paid a $100 million fine.

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