BlockFi will cut about 20% of its staff, the company’s founders said on Monday. It’s the latest high-profile crypto firm to announce layoffs.
The crypto lending company has been "impacted by the dramatic shift in macroeconomic conditions worldwide," according to a blog post from co-founders Zac Prince and Flori Marquez. BlockFi is not alone: A swift decline in digital asset values is behind a wave of layoffs at crypto companies, such as Gemini and Crypto.com. Coinbase has frozen hiring and, controversially, rescinded accepted offers from candidates.
BlockFi's leadership said turmoil in the crypto and equity markets has prompted a desire to "achieve profitability so that we can own our destiny as we navigate what many expect to be an extended global recession." To that end, the company is cutting marketing spending, dropping "non-critical vendors," cutting executive pay and slowing head count growth, according to its blog post.
The company's head count has grown from about 150 at the end of 2020 to 850. BlockFi raised $350 million at a $3 billion valuation in March 2021.
BlockFi in February reached a settlement with the SEC to pay a $100 million penalty for selling its crypto lending product without registering it as a security. The company said it would file with the SEC to register its BlockFi Yield product as a security, something it hailed as a milestone for crypto lending.
The layoffs come one day after another crypto lender, Celsius, stopped all withdrawals, swaps and transfers between accounts, citing market conditions and the need for "stablizing liquidity." BlockFi sought to ease concerns it could follow a similar path, noting on Twitter Monday morning it has "no exposure to Celsius and we have never worked with them as a partner."