Cryptocurrency exchange Luno, which is owned by crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group, has slashed 35% of its global workforce.
The company, which has offices in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe, reportedly informed employees during a live-streamed town hall on Wednesday.
“2022 has been an incredibly tough year for the broader tech industry and in particular the crypto market,” Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of the exchange, reportedly said in an internal memo, adding:
“Luno unfortunately hasn’t been immune to this turbulence, which has affected our overall growth and revenue numbers.”
According to its LinkedIn page, Luno had around 960 employees, suggesting that the recent layoff has impacted more than 330 employees. The layoffs are largely from within the exchange’s marketing team, a spokesperson reportedly said.
Swanepoel said that the difficult decision comes as the crypto market has seen a “series of shocks” over the past year that led to a constrained funding environment and a shift toward long-term profitability.
Around $2 trillion worth of value was wiped out of the crypto market last year amid a series of high-profile failures, that started with the implosion of Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin and ended with the collapse of FTX and most recently Genesis.
“While we anticipated a downturn and proactively planned ahead with a business and funding model that can be resilient to some of these factors, the sheer scale and speed of all of this happening, and all at the same time, has put significant strain on our original plan,” Swanepoel said.
Luno is part of DCG, a crypto conglomerate that lists more than 160 companies in its portfolio, which include CoinDesk, Grayscale, and now-defunct crypto lender Genesis.
DCG is also an investor in U.S. crypto exchanges Coinbase and Kraken, and its other holdings include the U.S. firm Circle, which runs the stablecoin USDC, and blockchain analytics companies Chainalysis, Dune Analytics, Elliptic and Etherscan.
DCG CEO Barry Silbert has engaged in a public spat with Gemini co-founder and CEO Cameron Winklevoss, who has asked for the removal of Silbert and also claimed DCG deceived more than 340,000 Gemini and Earn users by falsely claiming that Genesis was solvent.
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.
Earlier this week, Gemini announced it is letting go of 10% of its workforce, or around 100 employees, marking the third round of layoffs at the crypto exchange in the past eight months.