New York-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini is letting go of 10% of its workforce amid the ongoing bear market that has seen around $2 trillion wiped out of the crypto market.
This marks the third round of layoffs at the crypto exchange in the past eight months, the Information reported on Monday, citing an internal message from Gemini co-founder and CEO Cameron Winklevoss. He reportedly said:
“It was our hope to avoid further reductions after this summer, however, 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.”
Data by PitchBook shows that Gemini had 1,000 employees as of November 2022, implying around 100 people lost their jobs. TechCrunch reported that Gemini had previously trimmed its headcount by 7% in July 2022, following a 10% staff a month earlier.
The latest layoff comes amid mounting pressue on Gemini due to a high-profile dispute involving crypto company Genesis, over the exchange’s Trust Earn program, which offered high-interest accounts thanks to a partnership with the crypto lender.
As reported, Genesis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week after weeks of speculation around the health of the crypto lender. Bankrptucy filings show that Genesis owes $3.5 billion to its top 50 creditors, including $900 million to Gemini Eearn users.
It is worth noting that Cameron has engaged in a public spat with Barry Silbert, CEO of Digital Currency Group, which owns Genesis. Earlier this month, he wrote an open letter to the DCG board, asking for the removal of Silbert. He also claimed DCG deceived more than 340,000 Gemini and Earn users by falsely claiming that Genesis was solvent.
Cameron welcomed Genesis’ move to file for bankruptcy. “This is a crucial step towards us being able to recover your assets,” he said in a Twitter thread, while also threatening to file legal action against Barry Silbert and Digital Currency Group unless they make “a fair offer” to creditors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a complaint against Genesis Global and Gemini Trust over the unregistered sale of cryptocurrencies. The commission said it is seeking civil penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and permanent injunctive relief.
Meanwhile, almost all major crypto exchanges have also announced layoffs over the past couple of months. As reported, Coinbase announced its third round of layoffs earlier this month, reducing its headcount by a total of 950 employees, or 20% of its workforce.