Genesis slashes 30% of its staff as the embattled crypto firm’s lending arm faces a liquidity crisis

Genesis terminated 30% of its workforce on Thursday, bringing the embattled cryptocurrency firm to 145 employees, a company spokesperson told Insider. 

Layoffs were concentrated in the business development and sales teams.

“As we continue to navigate unprecedented industry challenges, Genesis has made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount globally,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “These measures are part of our ongoing efforts to move our business forward.”

This is not Genesis’ first round of staff layoffs. In August, the crypto brokerage cut 20% of its workforce following losses tied to now-defunct crypto fund Three Arrows Capital.

Like other crypto industry giants, Genesis has taken numerous hits over the past year as digital asset markets reel from decades-high inflation, massive Fed rate hikes, exposure to now-bankrupt crypto platforms, poor risk management practices, and even criminal investigations into crypto executives.

Genesis Global Capital, the firm’s lending unit, halted customer withdrawals in November after crypto exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy protection, citing “unprecedented market turmoil.” Genesis also has said its derivatives business had $175 million in locked funds on FTX before its Chapter 11 filing.

Meanwhile, it has also been engaged in a spat with Gemini, whose cofounder Cameron Winklevoss accused Genesis parent DCG of stalling on returning the frozen $900 million owed to users of Gemini’s Earn program. 

In the third quarter of 2022, Genesis Global Capital reported $2.8 billion in total active loans.

Genesis interim CEO Derar Islim told clients Wednesday that its lending unit needed more time to figure out its financial situation.

He added that Genesis will be “reducing costs and driving efficiencies in all our business lines.” The spokesperson said that Islim was in part referring to Thursday’s layoffs in this letter. 

“As a key element in this process, we have made significant progress in refining our business plans for Genesis’ client offerings,” Islim said in a statement, adding that the company’s spot and derivatives trading services remain fully operational.

“We believe our continued focus on further sharpening our business will move us in the right direction as we begin the new year, as well as providing more options for working out the lending business.”