Crypto Hiring: Fireblocks reduces headcount by 3% in the name of efficiency

Elsewhere, Hut 8 and CoinDesk got new CEOs

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Jozef Micic/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Fireblocks, the custody platform once valued at $8 billion, laid off 21 members of its staff this week, or 3% of its total headcount.

It’s the second notable crypto firm to make layoffs in as many weeks after Polygon Labs announced it cut ties with 60 employees on Feb. 1. In both cases, the firms said the layoffs were made in the name of efficiency rather than financial necessity.

Read more: Polygon Labs to cut 19% of staff

In a statement to Bloomberg, Fireblocks said the layoffs were part of a broader restructuring in its go-to-market and customer support operations. The firm spoke about creating a “more efficient and streamlined service.”

This reasoning echoed Polygon Labs’ from last week, when CEO Marc Boiron said his firm’s layoffs were part of an effort to create an “efficient surgical team.”

A chastened staffing outlook has been common among crypto’s unicorns: When Coinbase announced it was letting 950 people go in January 2023, CEO Brian Armstrong urged the firm’s remaining staff to behave more like a startup and “remember what it feels like to have small, nimble teams that are able to get more done.”

Fireblocks reached its $8 billion valuation with a $550 million Series E round in early 2022. 

Fireblocks also hinted that it’s hoping to expand its operations globally. The firm currently has offices in the US, across Europe and Asia, and in Israel, according to its website. It did not return a request for comment.

Mining firm Hut 8 switches out CEO in apparent change of plans

Prominent bitcoin mining firm Hut 8 announced its current president Asher Genoot would become its new CEO, Blockworks’ Ben Strack reported this week.  

Read more: Hut 8 switches CEOs as it eyes ‘new strategic direction’ after merger

Genoot will step in for Jaime Leverton, who had served as Hut 8 CEO since December 2020. The firm’s feelings on Leverton’s role apparently shifted in the past few months, as Hut 8 affirmed her place as CEO following its merger with US Bitcoin Corp in late 2023. 

On Jan. 18, the short seller J Capital research released a report criticizing Hut 8’s merger with US Bitcoin Corp, alleging USBTC has a history of “pump and dump” schemes.

Hut 8’s stock price was up Friday amid a bullish week for bitcoin but is still down more than 35% overall in 2024. 

Read more: New Hut 8 CEO prepared to make ‘hard decisions’ to nix inefficiencies

Other notable hiring news

  • Crypto media company CoinDesk announced Sara Stratoberdha, the former business development head for crypto exchange Bullish, would replace Kevin Worth as its CEO. Bullish became CoinDesk’s parent company following an acquisition from Digital Currency Group in November.
  • Variant Fund investor Medha Kothari departed to lead “product for all wallet-related things” at Uniswap Labs.
  • Former Consensys project manager Ben Edgington became the lead technical program manager at OP Labs.

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