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Big crypto firms are purportedly laying off staff, but others are on hiring sprees

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Many tout Bitcoin and cryptocurrency for their uncorrelated natures, their ability to simply not care what the rest of the world is doing.

But, this is seemingly not true; reports indicate that a number of crypto companies have begun to lay off staff or have paused their hiring processes most likely in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus around the world.

Crypto companies have begun layoffs, a report suggests

According to a “100% user-generated” list of companies on hiring site Candor, which is being “maintained” by the co-founder of the site, Bitcoin.com, crypto mining firm Bitfarms, and mining hardware manufacturer Bitfury are among the firms in this industry that have begun to lay off staff over the past few weeks.

The note attached to the Bitcoin.com listing suggests that “around” 50% of the staff were laid off. Notably, the company still has two positions open, though these listings were published over three weeks ago. But in an Apr 3. comment to CoinSpice, chairman Roger Ver said his company is looking for a “leaner more guerrilla team” in “these times,” seemingly confirming the Candor report.

The note attached to Bitfury’s listing indicates a lay-off of “managers and [the] offshore team.” There was no note attached to Bitfarms’ listing.

The list also indicates that Block.one, the company behind EOS, and Blockworks Group, a crypto media and events firm, have implemented a hiring freeze.

Outside of the Candor list, Hebrew media site The Marker revealed that 18 of BLOCKTV’s 23 staffers were laid off while the crypto news company also terminated its contracts with freelance workers. BLOCKTV cited the coronavirus epidemic, which has brought the Israeli economy to a standstill.

This comes shortly after BLOCKTV raised capital through BLTV, which is a token that has since been listed on Bittrex amongst other exchanges.

Also, one of the original crypto companies, Factom, has purportedly gone into liquidation, despite securing millions of dollars worth of funding over the past five years and garnering a grant from the U.S. Energy Department.

What’s the cause?

This is presumably similar to the crypto layoffs seen at the end of 2018, when the price of Bitcoin fell to the low-$3,000s in an explosive fashion. This crunch led Ledger, Sirin Labs, among other companies to cut some of their staff, reports from media then indicated.

Indeed, since the February highs, Bitcoin has collapsed by 40 percent, while the global economy has slowed due to the coronavirus outbreak, presumably decreasing demand for certain offerings in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.

Though, as the Candor list isn’t detailed, a number of the companies mentioned above may be participating in layoffs or hiring freezes for reasons other than the value of Bitcoin falling or the coronavirus freezing the economy.

It’s not all bad news

Although there are crypto companies purportedly laying off their employees at scale, there remain some that continue to scale up their operations as if Bitcoin was setting new highs each and every day: exchanges.

Binance’s chief executive, Changpeng Zhao, made this clear on Mar. 30, when he wrote that in the history of his company, they have “never done any layoffs, even through the many ‘[crashes] of Bitcoin’.”

WE HAVE NEVER DONE ANY LAYOFFS IN OUR HISTORY, EVEN THROUGH THE MANY “CRASH OF BITCOIN”.
WE ARE HIRING.
— CZ BINANCE ??? (@CZ_BINANCE) MARCH 30, 2020
He added that they are “hiring.” This seems to be the case; according to Binance’s careers page, there are 171 open positions, from titles like “Affiliate Marketing Manager” to “Senior Business Manager – Futures International Growth.”

Kraken, too, seems to be joining in on the hiring spree. According to a report from Forbes published Mar. 26, the San Francisco-headquartered Bitcoin exchange company is hiring an extra 67 people to its 800-person team, with many of the open positions having a focus on “hospitality professionals and liberal arts majors.”

CryptoSlate was also able to find a number of job listings for a swath of crypto companies on LinkedIn, AngelList, and other avenues, confirming that some are taking advantage of acquiring recently laid-off talent.

Many of the hiring crypto firms are exchanges, as these businesses are able to secure revenue as long as there is buying or selling demand for digital assets, meaning a depressed Bitcoin price may not hamper its cashflow that greatly.

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