Bitcoin services company NYDIG has laid off around 100 people, according to four people familiar with the matter.
The firm has cut approximately 30% of staff in the past several weeks, according to three people familiar with the matter. The layoffs had been going on for “several weeks,” one person added. The Wall Street Journal first reported the layoffs late Thursday, putting the figure at 110 employees.
“It’s like a trading desk mentality where nobody talks to anyone,” a former NYDIG employee told CoinDesk. “You can disappear and nobody will know for months.”
A spokesperson for NYDIG previously declined to comment.
In late 2021, NYDIG raised $1 billion in funding to build an institutional-grade bitcoin platform. The platform was expected to connect to banks and credit unions, bringing unprecedented bitcoin access to large swaths of retail banking customers. The company branded the campaign “Bitcoin for all.”
But since NYDIG’s fundraise, the crypto market has soured. The price of bitcoin fell to under $20,000 a coin, a 70% decline from its November 2021 all-time high of about $67,500.
“NYDIG put all their eggs in this banking strategy, but they realized that there was no way that these banks were ready,” the former employee told CoinDesk. “They blew through all this money telling a story that they would bring bitcoin to the masses. Their core strategy was blundered.”
The layoffs also come amid leadership shuffles. In early October, the company announced CEO Robert Gutmann and President Yan Zhao would be stepping down and returning to Stone Ridge Holdings Group, the parent company of NYDIG. Tejas Shah and Nate Conrad, both executives at NYDIG, would take over as CEO and president, respectively.
Gutmann and Zhao are both co-founders of Stone Ridge, an alternative asset manager that specializes in niche investment strategies, including weather reinsurance and drug royalties.
UPDATE (Oct. 14, 2022, 02:40 UTC): Adds additional context.
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