The cryptocurrency bear market has taken another set of victims, with 37 members of staff at crypto exchange ShapeShift being let go due to market conditions.
ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees issued an update in a Medium post, writing: “Today, we let 37 employees go, reducing the size of our team by a third. It’s a deep and painful reduction, mirrored across many crypto companies in this latest bear market cycle.”
The bear market has affected numerous cryptocurrency start-ups during the last 12 months. Ethereum’s production studio ConsenSys laid off 13% of their staff in December, while Steemit reduced their payroll by 70% in a “structural reorganisation.”
Voorhees, who admitted his company have “made a thousand mistakes,” candidly continued about how the bear market “is a continual lesson in humility.”
With a heavy heart, today we laid off 37 people. We've published a blog on this, also discussing some of our missteps and lessons as a company. "Overcoming ShapeShift’s Crypto Winter and the Path Ahead" by @ShapeShift_io https://t.co/1eNT54eyPp #bitcoin
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) January 8, 2019
ShapeShift ran into regulatory hurdles in 2018. The company began doing know-your-customer (KYC) checks on their users, a decision that ultimately saw the exchange suffer a momentous drop in volume.
The Wall Street Journal then ran a story on how ShapeShift had facilitated $9 million in money laundering allegations. However, Voorhees was quick to dispel the claims, writing: “We are aware of the poorly-researched piece written against us by someone at WSJ. The implications are disingenuous and misleading.”
As a result of the challenges brought to light in 2018, Voorhees admits that ShapeShift grew too quickly, causing structural issues and eventually the recent reduction in staff.
He concluded: “We’re all on a journey of growth: myself as an individual, ShapeShift the company, its dedicated, talented employees with whom I’m so privileged to work, and crypto as a community. May we find the strength and discipline to struggle through every obstacle toward victory; toward a world of borderless, apolitical finance for all humans.”