Gemini Founders Declare “Crypto Winter,” Announce Staff Downsizing

Recent weeks have not been kind to the cryptocurrency market. With Bitcoin trading at around $30,000 per coin, its value is about half of record highs. Similarly, prices for other assets have tumbled as well. In turn, several companies in the crypto space have reported lower earnings. Now, Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have announced staff layoffs amid what they’re called a “crypto winter.”

In a blog post, the Winklevoss twins disclosed that they’d be parting with 10% of their current staff. This comes as the founders note that the crypto market has entered a “contraction phase.” According to CNBC, the remaining employees will participate in a company-wide meeting this week to discuss the course forward.

Up until now, Gemini has seen a number of milestones and successes. Among them, the company launched their crypto rewards credit card in April. That product allows cardholders to earn 3% back on dining, 2% back on groceries, and 1% back on other purchases — all paid out in the form of any of the more than 60 cryptocurrency assets Gemini supports

Gemini isn’t the only crypto-centric firm to have announced staff layoffs in recent weeks. In April, Robinhood — which recently also revealed plans to launch a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet — disclosed that it was letting go of approximately 9% of its full-time workforce. That same month, BitMEX laid off 75 employees, amounting to one-quarter of their staff.

Despite the setbacks, the Winkelvosses remain optimistic on the long-term prognosis of cryptocurrencies, writing, “The crypto revolution is well underway and its impact will continue to be profound.” Specific to the Gemini, they also stated, “Today is a tough day, but one that will make Gemini better over the long run. Constraint is the mother of innovation and difficult times are a forcing function for focus, which is critical to the success of any startup… And as painful as this moment is, we ultimately see it as an opportunity to double-down on our strongest ideas and customer-centric products so that we may be the catalyst of innovation coming out of these leaner times that will help fuel the next cycle of crypto growth and adoption.”

There’s no doubt that the crypto market isn’t riding nearly as high these days. That said, declaring the sector dead as some gleefully have is also short-sighted. Ultiamtely, there’s far too much interest in the innovation and promise of crypto for it to fade quietly into the night. Instead, while some crypto-centric startups may not make it, the industry as a whole will surely carry on into the future.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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