Gemini – the crypto exchange led by billionaire twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – announced job cuts for the first time since months of crypto selloffs had yet to show any signs of reversal. According to an internal memo acquired by Bloomberg, about 10% of existing employees will be laid off.
In a memo addressed to their employees, the brothers acknowledged that the company is “in a contraction phase” as the industry plunges into “crypto winter” — referring to a period of price declines. The brothers noted that geopolitical and macroeconomic turmoil has added fuel to the firm’s current position.
Since trading fees usually make up a substantial portion of exchanges’ revenue, low trading volumes during bear markets have a huge impact on them. In 2018, many firms had to reduce or even lay off their workforce to accommodate the reality of declining digital assets.
As a privately held company, Gemini does not release a specific number of its employees. According to LinkedIn, the exchange currently has 1038 employees. A 10% employee cut indicates that more than 100 employees will be out of a job. They will receive health benefits and an “isolation package” from the company.
Due to “turbulent market conditions likely to persist for some time,” Twins said the company will adjust its business strategy accordingly, focusing its attention on its mission-critical products. While acknowledging that cutting employees is a difficult decision, the twins believe it will make the company “better in the long run.”
The popular New York-based cryptocurrency exchange was valued at $7 billion after raising $400 million in a funding round last November.
Gemini is not alone
Gemini is not the first – possibly not the last – major exchange that has announced massive layoffs as crypto assets struggle to rebound during the risk-off season.
In the wake of Africa-based exchange, BitMEX, laying off 25% of its workforce – a total of 75 employees – retail-favorite trading app Robinhood also announced it would lay off 9% of its full-time employees. month. At the time, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev cited “duplicate roles and job functions” as the main reason for the cuts.
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