Layoffs at Coinsquare Exchange Leads to Departure of 40 Employees, Including Some Executives
The cryptocurrency bear market has not been easy on anyone, and there’s news of another exchange or another platform losing the support they need to keep their business running smoothly. Often, the exchanges have to choose if they want to try and keep their work afloat with the departure of employees, or if they want to cash in their chips and call it a day. Coinsquare has opted to layoff many members of their staff, as they push to keep the doors open.
The announcement, which appears to have originated at BetaKit.com, says that the Toronto-based platform has let go of about 40 employees in various roles. Considering that their former staff was around 150 people, the numbers suggest that the company laid off over a quarter of their staff in the process. One of the most notable layoffs was of Robert Mueller, who worked as the COO and was only at Coinsquare for a year. CFO Ken Tsang was also terminated, after being hired around the same time as Mueller.
The Head of Talent for Coinsquare, Martin Hauck, posted the news of the layoffs on his LinkedIn page, though the employees only found out about the news this morning. According to a post by The Block, Hauck said,
“The ever-evolving digital currency/cryptocurrency space has been volatile and unpredictable. Many similar companies in our industry have had to make some tough choices in recent months and Coinsquare has had to as well. The company has made the decision to part ways with a number of talented members of the Coinsquare team. All of which have made their own impact and contribution to our success so far, for which we are extremely grateful for.”
Along with this round of layoffs, the company actually began the downsizing process in the summer last year, which led to the departure of 15 employees at the time. Cole Diamond, the CEO for Coinsquare, was quick to point out that they had hired 23 new workers in January after the purchase of Tipcoin. The former CTO of Tipcoin, Simon Palmer, became the new CTO for Coinsquare.
In December, Coinsquare had also acquired BlockEQ, a crypto wallet on Stellar, for $12 million. That month was fairly busy, as they hired Thomas Jankowski, who formerly worked as a chief digital officer for Postmedia, as their own chief digital and growth officer, aiming to broaden their audience.
At the time, BetaKit had discussed with Jankowski the areas that are seeing the most progress and results with the platform. He said,
“Right now, all of our areas are seeing exponential success, and is there a difference between a line of business that is 800 percent ROI, and one part of the business that’s 900 percent ROI? No, they’re both successful and they’re both worth investing into, and we’ll just continue optimizing towards the big ones.”
During those times, the CEO did not seem the least bit concerned about the layoffs, feeling that the company has been “very responsible” in their financial management. He added,
“We’re in the most volatile market that you or I have ever seen. As a result, we’ve scaled up in the last 21 months from three people to a high of 150 people. We’ve decided to make some cutbacks to make sure we protect our strong position in the market, and our overall dominant position as the strongest company in not just cryptocurrency, but blockchain in Canada.”
On the layoffs specifically today, Diamond indicated that the decision was
“quite difficult because we let go of a number of people.”
Continuing, he added,
“But at the same time, we have to be prudent in the way in which we use resources, and money’s not flowing into our market at the same rate it was in the past. We’ve held on longer than most, but tough decisions have to be made so that we can build a 21st-century financial institution that has a real chance at changing the world.”