Crypto Exchange ShapeShift Lays Off 37 Amid Bearish Cryptoeconomy
This week, ShapeShift CEO and founder Erik Voorhees announced the cryptocurrency exchange has laid off 37 employees amid the cryptoeconomy’s bearish turn since 2018. The company’s books were reportedly crypto-heavy in the downturn.
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Voorhees: Market Cycles ‘A Continual Lesson in Humility’
In a bulletin titled “Overcoming ShapeShift’s Crypto Winter and the Path Ahead,” CEO Erik Voorhees publicly declared the exchange had laid off 37 of its employees in a drawdown driven by the ongoing cryptoeconomy correction.
The reduction comes after rapid growth, as the exchange grew 3,000 percent in 2017, per Voorhees.
With a heavy heart, today we laid off 37 people. We've published a blog on this, also discussing some of our missteps and lessons as a company. "Overcoming ShapeShift’s Crypto Winter and the Path Ahead" by @ShapeShift_io https://t.co/1eNT54eyPp #bitcoin
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) January 8, 2019
“As a company, our greatest and worst financial decision is the same: to embrace substantial exposure to crypto assets,” Voorhees said.
“Much of our balance sheet is comprised of them. We accept the volatility, we accept the risk. And our proclivity to attach our own fate to that of the crypto market is not altered by the recent pain.”
In citing lessons learned, the CEO said the company had pulled itself in too many directions “too early” via product diversification and that growing legal burdens and declining crypto valuations compounded the exchange’s operational difficulties.
All the while, though, Voorhees said the remaining team is “weaving the new ShapeShift into existence.”
Ethereum venture studio ConsenSys also made headlines weeks ago for a wave of high-profile layoffs.
While the exact number of ConsenSys employees that were let go is unknown, figures that have been kicked around publicly range from between 13 percent to 60 percent of the studio’s workforce.
ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin has repeatedly downplayed the development, saying at one point that “[t]he sky is not falling.”
The sky is not falling. From my perspective the future looks very bright. I remain excited about scalability solutions that are available now…
— Joseph Lubin (@ethereumJoseph) December 21, 2018
It’s a sight that’s likely to be repeated throughout the cryptoeconomy if cryptocurrencies continue to correct in the months ahead, particularly if a de-risking investment environment continues to set in.
On the flip side, if crypto markets bottom here and start climbing their way back up, then a renewed appetite will actualize in the space for hirings to instigate growth.
Whenever another bull market does form, it’s a safe bet that big crypto companies like ConsenSys and ShapeShift will approach it with novel strategies after experiencing the ripper that was the 2017-2018 market cycle.
The grand question for now is what does the remainder of 2019 hold in store for the ecosystem: bust, boom, or sideways chop?
What’s your take? Are more high-profile crypto layoffs coming this year? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via Pixabay