ShapeShift Lays Off 37 in Latest Crypto Industry Cutback

Crypto exchange ShapeShift has announced a round of layoffs, cutting its staff by a third.

AccessTimeIconJan 8, 2019 at 9:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:44 a.m. UTC

Crypto exchange ShapeShift has announced a round of layoffs, citing a range of difficulties including a tough market climate.

In a blog post published Tuesday, CEO Erik Voorhees wrote that the startup had laid off 37 employees, or a third of its staff. He described the process as “a deep and painful reduction, mirrored across many crypto companies in this latest bear market cycle.”

As Voorhees noted, ShapeShift isn’t the only crypto startup to move to trim its workforce in recent weeks. As CoinDesk previously reported, ethereum production studio ConsenSys announced a 13 percent staff cut in early December. More recently, chat startup Status and bitcoin mining giant Bitmain confirmed that they were cutting staffers.

In one of the most transparent testimonies of its kind to date, Voorhees detailed several problems that worked against Shapeshift heading into this decision. Besides the mounting legal concerns that have impeded the entire industry, Voorhees contended that the company grew too fast and spread out its efforts into too many product areas (such as CoinCap, it's CoinMarketCap competitor, and KeepKey, an acquisition).

Additionally, the company's decision to begin doing know-your-customer checks on customers caused a large loss in clients and users. Lastly, transactions, in general, dropped across the board, leading to a general drop in revenue, Voorhees wrote.

Though Voorhees said the firm had hedged for such risks, it wasn't enough to allow the company to remain at its current staffing level.

"2018 marked a rough year. While this new one starts upon some painful reorganization, we’re encouraged and hopeful for 2019," he wrote.

ShapeShift declined to comment further when reached.

Image Credit: Piotr Swat/Shapeshift


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