Crypto hiring: Major layoffs at Yuga Labs, Ledger and Chainalysis this week

Yuga Labs, Ledger and Chainalysis all laid off portions of their workforce this week.

The most recent was Yuga on Friday, though the NFT startup declined to reveal precisely how many workers it axed.

Co-founder Greg Solano posted on X that Yuga still has over 120 employees and that the layoffs were targeted primarily at its US-based team.

In the world of crypto hard wallets, Ledger subtracted 12% from its 700-strong headcount. 

CEO Pascal Gauthier attributed this decision to current market conditions and a pivot toward “longevity” of the business. 

“Macroeconomic headwinds are limiting our ability to generate revenue and in response to the current market conditions and business realities, we must reduce roles across the global business,” Gauthier said. 

Read more: Yuga Labs announces US layoffs as part of broader restructuring

Chainalysis, too, laid off a significant number of its rank-and-file staff. About 15% of its employee base were let go, amounting to about 150 people. The first round of cuts for the blockchain analytics platform came earlier this year when the firm cut more than 40 employees.

Ripple’s hiring strat? Anywhere but the US

Upon securing a major payments institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore late Tuesday night, Ripple said its hiring plans moving forward will reflect its strategic shift beyond American shores, particularly Asia. 

“Nearly 40% of our hires are non-US and we anticipate this number to reach 50% by end of year given our laser focus on non-US hiring,” a Ripple spokesperson told Blockworks.

Ripple said that roughly 80% of new hires last quarter were based outside the US. Similarly, more than 85% of its open roles are non-US roles.

Ripple scored a win Tuesday when a judge denied an interlocutory appeal from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The court also denied the SEC’s request to temporarily suspend the upcoming trial against Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen, scheduled for spring 2024.

Bitcoin halving spurs Galaxy departure

Marketing and business development were the departments most heavily impacted by the layoffs, according to Forbes.

Elsewhere, Amanda Fabiano is leaving Galaxy Digital ahead of next year’s bitcoin halving. Fabiano served as the company’s head of mining for three years, and is now founding a consultancy focused on bitcoin mining firms.

“Building upon my earlier experiences at Fidelity, I successfully established a thriving mining business at Galaxy, in the face of challenging market conditions,” Fabiano said in a Tuesday X post. “Now, I’m packaging all that valuable expertise and enthusiasm as I proudly introduce Fabiano Consulting, my inaugural endeavor.”

Before joining Galaxy, Fabiano was a mainstay at Fidelity from 2014 to 2020 as its director of bitcoin mining. 

Other notable hires

  • Jake Chervinsky, chief policy officer at the Blockchain Association, announced he will join Variant Fund, an early-stage crypto VC firm, as its chief legal officer.
  • Nomura’s Laser Digital opened an office in Japan. Based in Tokyo, the new location will be led by longtime Nomura executive Hideaki Kudo.
  • Zodia Custody, a digital asset custodian for institutions, hired James Harris as chief commercial officer.
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