Latest in Crypto Hiring: Layoffs Pile Up as Bear Market Crawls On
BitMEX reduces headcount amid refocus on crypto derivatives while Dapper Labs cuts staff by 22%
Crypto exchange BitMEX has cut staff as it pivots to focus on derivatives trading, though the number of laid off employees isn’t known.
The company, which took the opposite approach in expanding its offerings beyond derivatives last year, is set to refocus on “liquidity, latencies and a vibrant derivatives community including BMEX token trading,” a spokesperson told Blockworks.
“As an undesirable consequence, we had to make changes to our workforce,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Our top priority is to make sure all employees who will be impacted have the support they require.”
The spokesperson declined to comment on the specific number of staff impacted, but said a reported figure of cuts amounting to 30% was “inaccurate and too high.”
The staff cuts come after BitMEX CEO Alexander Hoeptner suddenly left the company. The company tapped Chief Financial Officer Stephan Lutz as interim chief executive.
Dapper Labs has reduced its workforce by 22%, CEO Roham Gharegozlou said Wednesday.
“These reductions are the last thing we want to do, but they are necessary for the long-term health of our business and communities,” Gharegozlou wrote. “We know [Web3] and crypto [are] the future across a multitude of industries — with 1000x potential from here in terms of mainstream adoption and impact — but today’s macroeconomic environment means we aren’t in full control of the timing.”
Founded in 2018, Dapper Labs is behind NBA Top Shot and the original developer of the Flow blockchain. It closed a $250 million round in September 2021.
The company grew from 100 people to more than 600 employees in less than two years, which Gharegozlou said brought operational challenges.
Galaxy Digital is considering cutting its workforce by about 15%, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
The reported layoffs come after CEO Michael Novogratz said during the company’s August earnings call that Galaxy intended to increase its headcount from 375 people to more than 400 staffers by the end of the year.
“While our industry continues to face macroeconomic headwinds, Galaxy remains focused on building for the future state of institutional adoption, and on enhancing long-term shareholder value,” a spokesperson told Blockworks in a statement. “We are always considering optimal team structure and strategy and will share future plans when finalized.”
Galaxy’s third-quarter earnings call is slated for Nov. 9 at 8:30 am ET. The company posted a $555 million net loss during the second quarter — up from a net loss of about $112 million in the three months prior.
Digital Currency Group (DCG) promoted several of its executives in tandem with a department reorganization. Roughly 10 employees departed as a consequence of the restructuring, according to Bloomberg.
DCG is the parent company of digital asset manager Grayscale Investments and crypto brokerage Genesis Trading. The company reportedly has 66 members following the cuts.
Mark Murphy was promoted to be DCG’s president. He joined the company as head of public affairs in April 2018 before becoming chief operating officer in January 2020, according to his LinkedIn page.
In addition, Jenn Goodson was named chief administrative officer; Simon Koster became chief strategy officer; Matt Kummell is now senior vice president of operations; and Amanda Cowie leads communications, marketing and events.
A DCG spokesperson confirmed the Bloomberg report but declined to comment further.
A week of crypto layoffs saw a few new hires
Crypto securities platform Prometheum appointed Anoop Datta as COO of its Alternative Trading System (ATS) platform.
Datta was most recently head of electronic trading risk management and strategy at Goldman Sachs. He was also previously COO of Wells Fargo’s foreign exchange business and a derivatives trader at Chicago Trading Company.
The hire comes after Prometheum launched its alternative trading system, which offers digital asset securities trading, clearing, settlement and custody through integration with partners such as Anchorage Digital Bank.
The chief compliance officer at Andreessen Horowitz — or a16z — has joined AnChain.AI, a digital asset risk management and Web3 intelligence firm, as a strategic adviser.
Scott Walker is set to advise on the firm’s innovative Web3 risk monitoring technology. AnChain.AI was founded in 2018 by cybersecurity and enterprise software veterans from FireEye and Mandiant.
Before joining a16z, Walker was a senior special examiner and counsel for digital assets and blockchain technology at the SEC. He also previously worked at asset management giant BlackRock as counsel, with a focus on hedge fund regulation, derivatives and prime brokerage.
Executives said in September that its Enclave Cross platform, which allows traders to make block trades off-chain, was in beta. It was inspired by dark pools, long a TradFi staple.
Andoni joined from Ava Labs, where she was deputy general counsel. Prior, she was chief legal officer at NFT-focused social media platform Nifty. Prado before his appointment led security and infrastructure teams at Blockchain.com and Xapo.
Layer-1 protocol Lamina1 added Geraldine Pamphile as its chief business development officer.
Pamphile spent nearly a decade working for the NBA, where she became a vice president of international business development and media distribution. She later joined augmented reality-focused company Magic Leap and investment platform Aser Ventures.
Input Output Global, the software research and development company behind the Cardano blockchain, hired Vanishree Rao as head of applied cryptography.
Rao helped build privacy-focused blockchain Mina Protocol while she was the lead cryptographer at O(1) Labs.
She is set to help Input Output Global practically apply its research and develop and grow the company’s zero-knowledge proof expertise.
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