Austrian exchange Bitpanda cuts almost a third of its workforce as it battens down the hatches for an unpredictable crypto winter.
The company, which boasts investments from Alan Howard and Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, said in a Slack message to employees that uncertain market conditions and a headcount that is too high influenced the decision announced Friday.
The company will cut 230 jobs as it seeks to shed positions whose effect on the company’s progress has been negligible due to a lack of managerial coordination amidst a growing headcount.
The company joins Coinbase Global Inc., BlockFi, and Crypto.com in reducing its workforce as it seeks to weather the winter storm caused by fears of a recession, geopolitical tensions, and major sell-offs as investors look to dump riskier assets like cryptocurrencies.
Bitpanda was founded by Eric Demuth, Paul Klanchek, and Christian Trummer in 2014. It gathered fame after partnering with Austria’s state-owned postal service to sell bitcoin vouchers at its 1800 branches. The company offers retail crypto trading and equity derivatives and commodities.
Company offers support to retrenched workers
The Austrian company offers those affected by the workforce reduction assistance with finding a new position. The Bitpanda Talent Connect Hub will provide help with crafting a LinkedIn profile and CV. At the same time, Talent Acquisition partners will endeavor to connect job-seekers with recruitment companies. Management will offer both oral and written references and access to psychologists for mental health support.
Exchanges under pressure from macro forces
The last month or so has seen trading volumes on major exchanges decline as central banks rescinded pandemic-era stimulus packages and fears of rising inflation and a possible recession scared investors away from more speculative assets. The Financial Times reports that trades in actual cryptocurrency and not derivative products totaled $800 billion from March to May 2022, down over 50% from the same period last year. Also, as regulations surrounding crypto assets mature globally, costs for exchanges increase.
Coinbase, whose headcount mushroomed from 3,730 last year to 6,000 as it rode the euphoria of a bull market, announced plans to cut its workforce by about 1000 earlier this year, rescinding job offers along the way. A week ago, the chief policy officer announced that the company could not rule out further job cuts.
Bitpanda will retract accepted job offers, citing a new organizational setup and priorities obviating the need for new hires.
FTX, on the other hand, has said it remains profitable, with no plans to trim its 300-strong workforce any time soon. The world’s largest exchange by cryptocurrency volume, Binance also announced that it believes seasons of market decline provide opportunities to acquire important projects economically. OKX plans to add about 900 employees to its 2,800 -employee workforce within the next year.
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