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Aussie Crypto Exchange Dismisses Almost Half of its Staff

The Australian cryptocurrency platform Swyftx laid off 90 of its employees, representing around 40% of its total workforce.

CEO Alex Harper assured the company is “well-positioned” to cope with the current turbulence caused by the FTX meltdown. However, he expects another market plunge during the first half of 2023, hence the amendments.

The Next Victim

CEO Harper announced the news in a recent letter addressed to Swyftx employees:

“Today we’ve announced the hardest decision Angus and I have had to make in our careers. We’re saying goodbye to 90 talented friends and colleagues.”

The executive said Swyftx had no direct exposure to the bankrupt exchange FTX. Still, “we are not immune to the fallout it has caused in the crypto markets,” he added. Harper believes trimming a significant chunk of the workforce might be beneficial for the Aussie firm to weather future “black swan-type events.”

He argued that Swyftx is among Australia’s leading crypto trading venues and is “uniquely well-positioned” to endure the ongoing tumult of the blockchain industry.

“But as much as we might wish it, we do not exist in isolation from the market, and that’s why we are acting fast and acting early by significantly reducing the size of our team. We do this with a sadness that is very difficult to put into words. Suffice to say, we will do everything in our power to support impacted colleagues,” the letter reads.

All affected employees will receive their severance pay within seven days. They will also get ESOP for tenure plus six months, while Swyftx will provide job search support and EAP service.

Directly or not, the FTX crash has prompted severe changes in numerous cryptocurrency and financial companies. Some of those had to even file for bankruptcy protection.

Dismissal Spree Among Exchanges

Numerous leading cryptocurrency platforms started reducing the size of their teams earlier this year to cut costs during the prolonged bear market.

Gemini laid off around 10% of its workforce in June and added over 60 people to the list in July. 

The US-based exchange Coinbase trimmed 18% of its employees during the summer, while Huobi downsized by 30%. 

CryptoCom, BitMEX, and Bybit are also part of that club, while Binance was among the few to announce expansion plans during the crypto winter. The CEO of the world’s largest crypto platform – Changpeng Zhao – assured in July his entity has a “healthy war chest” and opined the bear market is a great time to hire more people.


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