London-based cryptocurrency exchange Luno announced Wednesday that it will lay off 35% of its workforce, citing the turbulent markets that have been pummeling the entire crypto industry.

“2022 has been an incredibly tough year for the broader tech industry and in particular the crypto market,” said Chief Executive Marcus Swanepoel. “Luno unfortunately hasn’t been immune to this turbulence, which has affected our overall growth and revenue numbers.”

Luno is the latest in a number of crypto companies that have faced layoffs during what has been dubbed “crypto winter” by investors and traders after bitcoin and broader cryptocurrency markets fell 60% from January 2022 to January 2023. That has wiped more than a trillion dollars in value off the markets in the past year, leading to the high-profile bankruptcy of the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital Ltd. and more recently the crypto exchange FTX Trading Ltd.

“While we anticipated a downturn and proactively planned ahead with a business and funding model that can be resilient to some of these factors,” Swanepoel added, “the sheer scale and speed of all of this happening, and all at the same time has put significant strain on our original plan.”

According to Luno’s LinkedIn profile, the company employs about 960 people, meaning the layoffs will affect around 336 people. The company has offices globally in Singapore, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos and Sydney. Swanepoel explained that the layoffs would affect employees from all its markets.

Luno is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, a crypto conglomerate that was caught up in the collapse of FTX. Most recently, another subsidiary of DCG, the crypto lender Genesis, filed for bankruptcy, owing creditors at least $3.4 billion. Genesis also announced layoffs of 30% of its staff earlier this month.

Swanepoel insisted the layoffs would not affect customers or operations and that the practice would be necessary to “substantially decrease” the “cost base” of the company going forward given the current markets.

Other crypto companies that have been hit by layoffs from the ongoing bear markets and industry turmoil include the cryptocurrency banking platform Silvergate Capital Corp., which laid off 40% of its workforce earlier this month, and crypto exchange Huobi, which cut its staff by 20%. Other crypto firms that have laid off workers include the crypto exchanges Kraken reducing staff by 30%, Coinbase Inc. cutting its staff by 18%, Crypto.com by 30% and Bitmex by 30%.

Image: Pixabay

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