Calling Crypto a ‘Harsh Mistress,’ ShapeShift Announces Major Layoffs

ShapeShift exchange has become the latest in a string of cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to announce major layoffs due to the ongoing cryptocurrency bear market.

In a Medium post entitled “Overcoming ShapeShift’s Crypto Winter and the Path Ahead,” Erik Voorhees detailed several different factors behind the change of course and stated that one-third of the workforce is being laid off, 37 employees in total. The ShapeShift CEO cited many reasons, chief among them being the heavy exposure of the company assets to cryptocurrency.

As a company, our greatest and worst financial decision is the same: to embrace substantial exposure to crypto assets. Much of our balance sheet is comprised of them. We accept the volatility, we accept the risk.

However, the crypto-crash is not the only factor in the layoffs. Voorhees also explained that the company had diversified into too many products too soon, creating CoinCap, acquiring the KeepKey wallet, and launching a number of other initiatives which all consumed time, money, and focus. Voorhees added that Shapeshift’s core business wasn’t sufficiently nurtured, saying “I can lay this mistake at nobody’s feet but my own.”


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