Crypto exchange Gemini is letting 10% of its staff go, according to a Monday report by The Information.
This marks the company’s third such reduction since June, following a year of strife in the crypto sector, which, as of last week, includes the bankruptcy of crypto lender Genesis.
Genesis and Gemini’s collaboration, the Gemini Earn program, in which Gemini users earned interest by lending out their crypto assets through Genesis, was canceled this month after pausing withdrawals in November. More than $900 million in investments remain locked up in the defunct program.
“It was our hope to avoid further reductions after this summer,” Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss wrote in the internal message seen by The Information. "[H]owever, persistent negative macroeconomic conditions and unprecedented fraud perpetuated by bad actors in our industry have left us with no other choice but to revise our outlook and further reduce headcount."
Though Winklevoss did not mention the "bad actors" by name, Gemini and Genesis were both affected by the FTX contagion. FTX collapsed in November, allegedly as a result of fraud on behalf of executives. While former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang pleaded guilty on related charges and are cooperating with the Justice Department, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried will head to trial in October.
Previously, Gemini cut 10% of its staff in June, and more layoffs followed in July. Gemini’s headcount fell from around 1,100 at the start of 2022 to between 650 and 700 by year’s end, according to The Information.
Crypto firm layoffs have been as common in 2023 as they were for much of last year, since the crypto winter kicked into gear with the May collapse of the Terra/Luna ecosystem. This month alone, Coinbase and Crypto.com have each laid off 20% of their staff; and Genesis laid off 30% of its staff prior to filing for bankruptcy. Crypto-heavy Silvergate Bank cut its staff by 40%.