Crypto hiring: CoinDCX blames tax policy, bear market for layoffs

CoinDCX cut 12% of its employees this week, joining the ranks of other centralized crypto exchanges that shrank their staffing costs this year.

CoinDesk reported that the Indian crypto exchange fired 71 employees out of some 590 staffers.

The founders of the Indian crypto exchange, Sumit Gupta and Neeraj Khandelwal, published a blog post Tuesday explaining the reasons behind the significant layoffs this week. 

The two cited the “prolonged bear market” and financial crunches related to onerous crypto-specific taxes. 

Gupta and Khandelwal were referring to India’s crypto tax policy that was instituted in July 2022, which mandates investors pay a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS), in addition to a flat 30% tax on profits derived from crypto. 

Some exchanges saw 70% decreases in trading volumes in the week following the new legislation, a state of affairs the CoinDCX founders acknowledged was a catalyst for their decision to downsize.

“These factors had a significant impact on our volumes and thus revenues. To adapt, we undertook several proactive measures, including direct cost optimization and investment in automation,” they wrote in the post. 

India’s crypto tax policy was brought to the forefront again when the country’s lawmakers debated its national budget in the early months of 2023. However, the 30% profit tax and the 1% TDS were reaffirmed. The budget also introduced criminal penalties for not paying up TDS, including jail time of up to seven years. 

Other crypto exchanges have laid off significant numbers of employees this year. 

Coinbase kicked off 2023 by laying off 950 workers as part of a bid to shrink operating costs. This represented a 20% headcount reduction and came nine months after the company laid off 1,100 employees. 

Gemini and Luno both made significant cuts to their respective teams in January as well.

Binance, too, has aimed to reduce its numbers throughout the year. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that Binance fired 1,000 employees over several weeks. 

While Binance has confirmed that layoffs took place, the company has yet to acknowledge the exact number of affected employees. 

Binance.US also cut staff shortly following the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing of a lawsuit against it. 

Alchemy hires former Stripe exec

Web3 development platform Alchemy said Thursday that it has hired Guillaume Poncin, Stripe’s former head of Web3 and crypto. 

Poncin will serve as Alchemy’s head of engineering. At Stripe, Poncin was responsible for that company’s fiat-to-crypto onramp products.

Poncin has also worked for Google and computer hardware manufacturer Osmo. 

Poncin explained in a short blog post that he joined Alchemy because he believes it’s where he’ll “have the most impact in amplifying the adoption of crypto.”

“We are still early in Web3. Right now, most things are difficult. Things break. There’s friction across most of the tech stack, both for developers and for users. But it’s getting better daily,” he wrote. 

Other notable hires

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