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01 Jul 2022

Bitpanda said no mass layoffs, three weeks before axing one-third of staff

Cryptocurrency and commodities trading platform Bitpanda told its employees it would not resort to mass layoffs amid the economic downturn, just three weeks before a big employee cull.

According to a Slack screenshot obtained by The Block dated May 31, the company's chief product officer, Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad, tried to dispel rumors that the company would downsize and halt hiring. 

"There will not be any kind of massive layoffs within Bitpanda," Enzersdorfer-Konrad said. "We have not yet reached our limit and will continue hiring until all the positions we need are filled." 

He said the company was "very well funded" with no liquidity problems. While he noted that its 2022 financial results were "below budget," he said that this had been caused by macroeconomic conditions, including a supply crisis and the Ukraine conflict. The executive urged employees to focus on product and tech infrastructure improvements in preparation for the "next bull run."

When reached for comment today, a company spokesman said: "Three weeks before the day of the announcement we didn’t plan to do a restructuring and we have always transparently communicated our plans to our people." He added: "We only took this tough decision days before the official announcement when, due to legal restrictions, we couldn’t openly communicate about it." 

Bitpanda said it was doing its best to support those affected by the restructuring. 

Since cutting its workforce by a third and rescinding offers of employment last Friday, Bitpanda has no jobs currently advertised on its careers page. In a statement, the company said that it had made a necessary decision in order to navigate out of the current market downturn. The company said that it may have expanded too quickly, after having previously committed to a "hyper-growth" strategy.

Last August, the company raised $263 million to fund its plan for fast growth as it looked to attract top talent and expand product lines. This included hiring a JP Morgan executive to lead its institutional platform, snapping up its first acquisition in February of this year and launching new products including its Bitcoin-backed ETN.

Bitpanda is not the only company to suffer amid market volatility. In the last week, The Block reported that crypto trading platform Abra and exchange OSL have cut jobs. Last month, more than 1,500 people were laid off by crypto firms including Coinbase, and Gemini. 

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