According to a Medium post by the company’s CEO, 37 of Shapeshift’s employees have been laid off. This represents around one third of the staff at the cryptocurrency startup.
More Cryptocurrency Companies Feel the Pinch
Voorhees’s post details the reasoning behind the restructuring – Shapeshift’s embrace of “substantial exposure to crypto assets”. With so much of the firm’s financial standing relying on the prices of hugely volatile digital currencies, the CEO stated that although it was a conscious decision, it was a substantial risk to take.
He goes on to apologise to the staff he has let go of today, addressing them with what seems like genuine regret for the situation and gratitude for the work they did for the company:
“I am sorry this happened. Your confusion, your sadness, your anger… all of it is understandable, and I am sorry to put you through it. Your contributions — of effort, of personality, of experience — remain part of our fabric. Though it has ended, we are improved by our time with you, and I hope you find yourselves improved by your time with us.”
According to Voorhees, much of the reasoning for the redundancies comes from the crypto firm’s own poor business decisions. The chief of these is “a lack of focus” and a spreading of resources much too thinly.
For the CEO, projects like CoinCap, the firm’s market data platform; KeepKey, its hardware wallet offering; and others still underdevelopment distracted focus from Shapeshift’s central business model:
“… ultimately, the whole of this family of projects was less than the sum of its parts.”
Voorhees states that such diversification came too soon in the company’s short life and it was difficult to focus on how thinly resources were stretched with the bull market of 2017 distorting the firm’s success:
“Everything was going well. Hundred percent growth every month has a way of obfuscating reality.”
Going forward, the Shapeshift executive has pledged that his company will stay truer to the spirit of cryptocurrency. Perhaps inspired partly by Trace Mayer’s recent “Proof-of-Keys” event, Voorhees reiterates the importance of “controlling your own keys” to realise the truly revolutionary qualities of cryptocurrency:
“Among its many virtues, crypto assets enable people (and machines) to store value easily themselves and to transfer value directly to someone else, anywhere on Earth… This power is awesome and unprecedented.”
Finally, he stated that the firm has spent much of 2018 “weaving the new Shapeshift into existence”. This will be revealed at an undisclosed date soon.
Shapeshift Just One of Many Cryptocurrency Firms Making Layoffs
In recent weeks, NewsBTC has reported on many other examples of big cryptocurrency players being forced to let go of staff. Already, we have seen the likes of Steemit, ConsenSys, Bitmain, and Huobi make redundancies (or be rumoured to be in the process of doing so).
These are just the very biggest firms in the space . There will be many more examples of unheard of companies that have simply folded or drastically reduced their own staff size. It seems likely that more companies will follow as the balance sheets of these heavily-crypto-invested firms forces them to rethink their operations to remain financially viable.
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