Jobs go as ShapeShift suffers in crypto winter
Digital asset exchange ShapeShift has made 37 employees redundant as the firm finds life difficult in the current crypto climate.
Erik Voorhees, ShapeShift’s founder and CEO, says this means the size of its team has been cut by a third and that the “latest crypto winter is upon us, and today ShapeShift felt the bitter frost”.
According to Voorhees, the job cuts are a “deep and painful reduction, mirrored across many crypto companies in this latest bear market cycle”.
He certainly has a way with words: “Crypto, like the moon we strive toward, is a harsh mistress. We ride high and fast during the ascents, growing at rates unseen almost anywhere else in the business world (ShapeShift grew 3,000% in 2017). And when the markets turn, the crypto recession is similarly dramatic and severe.”
In 2017, Blockchain (a firm, not the tech) integrated with ShapeShift so trading Bitcoin to Ether and vice versa could happen all from one place. Also at that time, ShapeShift acquired Bitcoin hardware wallet maker, KeepKey, in an all-cash deal.
Voorhees mentions that KeepKey deal – and the build of CoinCap for live crypto market data. It saw opportunity in non-custodial portfolio management systems using Ethereum smart-contracts, but he concedes that it was “pulling [its] attention in too many directions”.
Over the first half of 2018, ShapeShift got hit from four sides. To keep it brief, he explains that these issues included people and structural, legal, customer and financial.
The last word goes to Voorhees: “My hope – and goal is – that financial sovereignty becomes a pillar of 21st-century civilisation, one of its most important advancements. And just as this non-custodial principle inspired ShapeShift’s genesis, it now inspires our rebirth.
“We wish our departing foxes good fortune and good grace.”