Approximately 90 staff have been let go by the Brazilian crypto unicorn 2TM, citing ‘Crypto Winter’ or the prolonged period of flat trading following a price collapse, sources with knowledge of the matter said.
2TM is the investment firm for Mercado Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in Brazil based on market capitalization. The layoffs represent 12 percent of the company’s overall headcount.
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The Dreaded Crypto Winter
The advent of Crypto Winter affects more than just individual investors. Some of the most important cryptocurrency exchanges in Latin America and United States have reduced their workforce in response to the deteriorating global economy.
According to 2TM’s LinkedIn page, Mercado Bitcoin Market has more than 580 personnel, while 2TM has less than a hundred.
2TM issued a statement saying:
“The shifting global financial landscape, increasing interest rates and inflation have had a significant effect on technology-based companies.”
Additionally, the firm stated that It was necessary to lay off a portion of the workforce because of adjustments that went beyond cutting operational costs.
The Brazilian newspaper O Estado de So Paulo broke the news of the layoffs at the Softbank Group-led company first.
After raising $250 million at a valuation of $2.2 billion last year, 2TM became Latin America's second crypto unicorn (Bloomberg Linea).
SoftBank is a Tokyo-based Japanese multinational conglomerate holding firm that focuses on investment management.
In November, 2TM secured $50 million from investors including Tribe Capital and 10T Holdings. The company was previously linked to a deal with Coinbase Global that may have resulted in the sale of a minority stake.
2TM is the second company supported by Softbank Group to lay off employees.
Global Overhaul In The Face Of A Looming Crypto Winter
Buenbit, one of the top cryptocurrency investment platforms in Argentina, was likewise forced to conduct a “global reorganization,” rendering nearly half of its personnel jobless and cutting the number of active employees from approximately 180 to 100.
2TM became the second crypto unicorn in Latin America after raising $250 million at a valuation of $2.2 billion last year.
Coinbase, which has experienced its own financial difficulties, announced on Friday that it would extend a hiring freeze and withdraw certain employment offers.
The announcement follows a similar decision by Gemini, which stated it will shrink its employment by 10 percent.
Crypto total market cap at $1.26 trillion on the weekend chart | Source: TradingView.com
Anything Can Happen
As the liquidity bottleneck in cryptocurrencies persists, exchanges and crypto businesses are likely to implement additional cost-cutting measures.
If crypto winter is anything like it was in the summer, real winter may have a few more unpleasant things in store for crypto.
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Featured image from Protocol, chart from TradingView.com
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