Following a record-breaking 2021, the crypto industry experienced its most turbulent year ever in 2022. The woes started with a major sell-off in April, followed by the collapse of the LUNA stablecoin — one of the largest crypto projects by market cap at the time — and culminating in the implosion of crypto exchange FTX. Bitcoin and Ethereum prices fell by 75% in a matter of months, and a bear market settled in.
The rough markets wiped out many retail traders, but it was the large players that got hit with the most losses. In 2022, many of the biggest crypto companies laid off staff, and the cuts have continued well into 2023.
Below, we take a look at crypto layoffs and how they’ve affected different companies in the industry.
|Company||Approximate Headcount Reduction||Percent Of Workforce Laid Off||Layoff Dates|
|Crypto.com||2,700 employees||Over 50%||June 2022, July 2022, January 2023|
|Coinbase||2,000 employees||36%||June 2022, January 2023|
|Kraken||1,100 employees||30%||November 2022|
|Robinhood||1,000 employees||30%||April 2022, August 2022|
|Amber Group||400 employees||40%||December 2022|
|Gemini||400 employees||36%||June 2022, January 2023|
|Huobi||320 employees||20%||January 2023|
|Blockchain.com||260 employees||45%||July 2022, January 2023|
|Silvergate Capital||200 employees||40%||Fourth Quarter 2022|
|Luno||200 employees||35%||January 2023|
|Protocol Labs||89 employees||21%||February 2023|
|Bittrex||83 employees||25%||February 2023|
|OpenSea||50 employees||20%||July 2022|
|SuperRare||20 employees||30%||January 2023|
|Cointracker||19 employees||20%||February 2023|
Please note that layoffs are not always made public. Some of the above numbers are strong estimates corroborated by multiple sources.
Crypto Layoffs 2023
Crypto.com: Over 50% Of Workforce Laid Off
In June 2022, Crypto.com announced that it was laying off 5% of its staff. Throughout the rest of 2022, however, multiple reports emerged showing that the company actually did a much bigger layoff — totaling around 2,000 people, or 40% of the company’s workforce. In January 2023, Crypto.com publicly announced it was letting go of another 20% of its workforce, ending up with a more than 50% reduction in headcount compared to a year earlier.
Coinbase: 36% Of Workforce Laid Off
Coinbase, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, had a major headcount reduction in June 2022 when it laid off around 18% of its staff, or about 1,100 people. Layoffs were due to a variety of reasons, the biggest of which was the overall bear market. The company followed that up in January 2023, announcing the layoffs of another 950 employees.
Gemini: 36% Of Workforce Laid Off
The US crypto exchange Gemini went through several rounds of layoffs during 2022. In June, the company shed 10% of its workforce, then followed up with more layoffs in July. In January 2023, Genesis Global Capital went bankrupt while owing Gemini over $900 million, which resulted in another 10% employee reduction for Gemini. This brought its headcount to around 700 people, down from 1,100 at the beginning of 2022.
Huobi: 20% Of Workforce Laid Off
Seychelles-based crypto exchange Huobi announced plans to lay off 20% of its staff, or about 320 employees, in January 2023. The layoffs were part of a restructuring following the exchange’s acquisition by crypto mogul Justin Sun. “With the current state of the bear market, a very lean team will be maintained going forward,” Huobi said in a statement.
Blockchain.com: 45% Of Workforce Laid Off
Blockchain.com is a cryptocurrency brokerage, exchange, and wallet service. In July 2022, the firm cut 150 employees, and in January 2023, it announced another cut of 110 employees. The company cited the “significant headwinds” that the crypto ecosystem was facing.
Luno: 35% Of Workforce Laid Off
Luno is a cryptocurrency exchange under the umbrella of Digital Currency Group (DCG) — a large crypto conglomerate. In January 2023, Luno CEO Marcus Swanepoel announced a layoff of over 200 jobs or 35% of their workforce. Swanepoel cited an “incredibly tough year for the broader tech industry and in particular the crypto market”.
Protocol Labs: 21% Of Workforce Laid Off
Protocol Labs is the parent company of the popular decentralized storage service Filecoin. In February 2023, it announced a 21% cut to its workforce, which came out to 89 employees. CEO Juan Benet pointed to the “extremely challenging economic downturn” for crypto companies.
Bittrex: 25% Of Workforce Laid Off
Bittrex is a lesser-known but still popular cryptocurrency exchange. In February 2023, it announced a layoff of 83 positions which made up around 25% of the company’s workforce. The company referenced “market conditions” as the basis for the cuts.
SuperRare: 30% Of Workforce Laid Off
The NFT marketplace SuperRare laid off 30% of its staff, or 20 employees, in the first few days of 2023. According to a Slack message from SuperRare CEO John Crain, overly aggressive hiring during the bull market led to the need to reduce staff.
Cointracker: 20% Of Workforce Laid Off
The crypto tax and accounting software, Cointracker, announced layoffs in February 2023 of 19 positions, or 20% of the company’s staff. CEO Jon Lerner said the “crypto winter, an unstable economy with high inflation and rising interest rates, and additional headwinds with crypto tax regulations” were behind the layoffs.
Crypto Layoffs 2022
Kraken: 30% Of Workforce Laid Off
In November 2022, the leading crypto exchange Kraken laid off 1,100 people or around 30% of the company’s staff. Jesse Powell, the exchange’s CEO, cited “macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions” and a need to cut costs as the reasons for the layoffs.
Robinhood: 30% Of Workforce Laid Off
The popular investing app Robinhood performed two rounds of layoffs in 2022. In April 2022, the company cut 9% of its staff, and in August of the same year, it did a further 23% cut. The layoffs have reduced the company’s workforce from an estimated 3,400 down to around 2,400 people. CEO Vlad Tenev cited overhiring as the reason for the layoffs, saying, “As CEO, I approved and took responsibility for our ambitious staffing trajectory — this is on me.”
Amber Group: 40% Of Workforce Laid Off
Amber Group is a cryptocurrency trading firm based in Singapore. In December 2022, it cut 300 employees or approximately 40% of its staff. The timing implies that the firm was impacted by the bankruptcy of FTX, as it also canceled a sponsorship with football club Chelsea FC.
Silvergate Capital: 40% Of Workforce Laid Off
One of the largest crypto banks, Silvergate Capital, revealed in its public filings that it laid off 40% of its staff during the fourth quarter of 2022. The cut came out to around 200 employees and caused the bank’s stock to plummet by almost 50% when it was revealed.
OpenSea: 20% Of Workforce Laid Off
OpenSea is the largest marketplace for trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In July 2022, the company laid off 20% of its workforce or about 50 people. CEO Devin Finzer pointed to the “unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability”.
Chainlink Labs: Extent Of Layoffs Unknown
Chainlink is a decentralized finance (DeFi) provider of data services for exchanges, blockchains, and more. In December 2022, Chainlink’s parent company, Chainlink Labs, pruned its workforce due to the bear market. The extent of the layoffs is unknown.
BitMEX: Extent Of Layoffs Unknown
BitMEX is a popular cryptocurrency exchange that focuses on derivatives trading. In November 2022, reports surfaced that the company was planning to lay off a portion of its staff in response to the bear market. Initial reports suggested 30% of the staff was being let go. BitMEX has denied that number, though without providing an alternative.
To Sum It Up
2022 and the start of 2023 have been some of the most difficult times for crypto companies since the beginning of the blockchain revolution back in 2009.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Many blockchain companies are still hiring, and bear markets are often the best times to start working in crypto.