BlockFi Finds Its New Home. As crypto layoffs continue, the world’s largest digital asset exchange by stock exchange said it plans to increase its workforce this year.
The president of Binance Changpeng Zhao said at the Crypto currency conference in Switzerland on Wednesday that the company plans to increase its users by 15-30% in 2023. The executive added that Binance expects to be well organized ahead of the next crypto bull market and admitted that the exchange is “underperforming,” CNBC reported. A spokesman declined to comment further. Zhao’s comments came a day after Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong revealed in a blog post that the company would lay off another 950 employees.
The cuts come about nine months after Coinbase laid off 18% of its workforce, or about 1,100 people. Coinbase’s new discount represents an additional 20% discount on users.
Coinbase said in a filing that it expects to incur between $149 million and $163 million in restructuring charges in the first quarter of 2023 as a result of the shutdown. Coinbase is not the only exchange users this week.
Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek said in a blog post on Friday that the company has reduced its workforce by 20% as it navigates “economic storms and unexpected company events.”
The layoffs come about six months after the company laid off about 260 people, or 5% of its workforce, last year. “The cuts we made last July allowed us to pull off the big cuts, but that didn’t take into account the recent FTX crash, which seriously damaged the company’s confidence,” Marszalek said.
Marszalek’s news came shortly after announced that Blockchain.com is set to lay off 28% of its workforce, or about 110 employees. A spokesperson for Blockchain.com declined to comment.
The firm, which is reportedly owned by crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, cut its workforce by 25% in July. Its CEO, Peter Smith, told Blockworks about six weeks later that the crypto ecosystem is entering a “desperate” period of bear market.
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eToro and Tinder Alumni Join the Crypto Space
Crypto wallet company Trezor has appointed Matěj Žák as CEO. Trezor co-founder Marek Palatinus, who is stepping down as CEO, is expected to stay with the company as a consultant.
Žák joined Trezor in 2019 as a product manager and was promoted to Trezor’s first product manager in 2021. His latest appointment comes as Trezor reported a 300% sell-off following the FTX crash, and some are now turning to private holdings. The company said it expects its growth in new hires to continue throughout 2023. Crypto exchange Kraken has hired Guy Hirsch to oversee the company’s expansion in the United States and Canada.
Hirsch will be responsible for working with regulators, companies and clients in the region. He said in a statement that he would like to “protect” Kraken’s new legal framework despite the bear market.
The CEO previously ran the US business of eToro Investments and also has a new strategic role at Samsung. The news came the same week that former BlockFi CEO Samia Bayou joined Kraken as the head of OTC trading for exchanges in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Bayou, who revealed the move in a Friday post on LinkedIn, has worked at BlockFi for now as the global head of its private client business from May 2021 to September 2022. A former Tinder product manager has joined blockchain game developer N3twork Studios as its new CEO.
Josh Sell will help the company develop Legendary: Heroes Unchained and Triumph – a Web3 role-playing game slated for release this year. Before joining Tinder in July 2020, Sell held a similar product leadership role at Glu Mobile, where he led the development of the popular Deer Hunter title. After quitting Tinder in January, he co-founded the Web3 game startup Midnight, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Meta Exec Joined the Crypto Identity Startup Right Away
Crypto-as-a-service platform Zero Hash has named William Klippel as its head of investment platforms.
Zero Hash’s turnkey solution manages the complexity of the backend and regulatory authority required to issue crypto products, according to the company. The company raised $105 million in Series D funding in January 2022.
Klippel spent nearly 15 years at foreign exchange firm GAIN Capital. He ended his time there as the company’s business manager specifically for the acquisition of portfolio products – a role in which he made FX and cryptocurrency products and brought them to market.
Former Meta CEO Viktoria Ruubel has joined identity verification provider Veriff as director of digital identity management. Veriff, which partnered with Blockchain.com in 2018, offers a variety of verification and fraud prevention services for cryptocurrencies.