Coinjar is cutting jobs after FTX collapse

Blackbird-backed local crypto exchange CoinJar has cut about 20% of its workforce amid the ongoing fallout from US rival FTX.

About 10 employees were laid off at the Melbourne-based fintech, which pioneered the Australian stock exchange industry a decade ago.

“Like many other companies, we have had to adjust parts of the business in response to poor market conditions,” said CoinJar CEO Asher Tan.

Last month, Tan said in a statement that CoinJar had “a small account balance with FTX to facilitate our OTC trading desk activities and customer transactions,” but it represented less than 1% of our gross assets and did not include customer funds.

“Appropriate hedging activities have been carried out to ensure there is no further impact on our balance sheet. We have no exposure to FTT or Alameda Research,” he wrote.

CoinJar launched in late 2013 with a bitcoin wallet that had 10,000 Australian users, after they raised $500,000 in a Seed round led by Blackbird, which raised $228,000.

Nearly a decade later, the exchange has about 500,000 users and manages about $1 billion in funds.

The fintech is by no means the only one to set sail. In August, well before the dramatic collapse of FTX and founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s trading company, Alameda, local crypto exchange Swyftx laid off 74 staff amid warnings of an “extended period of economic uncertainty.”

Unicorn NFT gaming startup Invariably reduced its workforce by 6% in July.

The cuts come as bitcoin sits at around 61% for 2022, amid several high-profile failures and hacks in the crypto sector.

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