Copper to Lay Off Up to 15% of Staff, Focus on Crypto Custody, Settlement

The process is just getting under way and the company, which employs about 300, said it cannot put an exact number on job losses.

AccessTimeIconMar 22, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:11 a.m. UTC
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Cryptocurrency custody provider Copper said up to 15% of its staff face layoffs as the firm streamlines its business amid tough market conditions affecting the crypto industry.

Copper currently employs a little over 300 in staff. The redundancy process is just starting and the company could not put an exact number on job losses, a spokesman said.

The crypto bear market is forcing firms like Copper to scale back operations, leading to thousands of job losses. Last week Copper said it was shelving its enterprise software business, which included cutting ties with global custody bank State Street. Instead it is focusing on its “off-exchange” ClearLoop settlement network, which removes the need to deposit and leave digital assets on an exchange ahead of trading. The network is used by over 400 clients including the likes of Paradigm, Nickel Digital Asset Management and Gate.io.

A conversation about moving away from enterprise software integration with firms such as State Street has been taking place since the fourth quarter of last year, CEO Dmitry Tokarev said in an interview with CoinDesk.

“At the same time, we’ve had a meteoric rise in the demand for collateral management solutions after what happened with FTX,” Tokarev said. “There came a point where we had to prioritize the scalability of the business and really focus on the revenue lines that make the most sense for us.”

Tokarev predicts ClearLoop will offer Copper’s institutional clients access to about 30% of total crypto market liquidity by the end of this quarter as more exchanges integrate the network. The figure should rise to 50% by year end.

“The pipeline of integrations, which is currently jammed, will result in 50% of market coverage, with the full protection of segregated trust over those assets,” Tokarev said.

Copper, which counts former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond as its chairman, has been in the process of trying to find additional funding. Tokarev said there will be a funding announcement in due course.

“The company is in a good spot with multiple years of runway,” he said. “Personally, I think the most important thing is to focus on the business itself, not on raises and valuations.”

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Ian Allison

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

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Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.


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