It appears that the cryptocurrency “nuclear winter” of 2018 has persisted despite the advent of 2019. Merely weeks following Bitmain, ConsenSys, ShapeShift, Huobi and other Bitcoin-based startups laid off a number of their workforce, Blockfolio, which handles the industry’s most used applications, has followed suit.
Crypto service provider Blockfolio CEO Edward Moncada has announced on his company’s Medium in October that he has received $11.5 million from a number of investors. Among those that participated in Series A funding round are Danhua, Pantera Capital, BitMEX, Huobi, and other venture groups.
However, crypto outlet The Block confirms that despite the flow of capital, the California-based company has trimmed down its workforce. In an interview, the Blockfolio CEO confirms that the company has laid off four employees, bringing the total number of employees to 37 from the former 41. Moncada also confirms that Blockfolio will also be shelving Datablock, an affiliated venture aimed at providing users control of their data, which also cuts the five more employees in the process.
According to The Block’s sources, the purported “data-rights” initiative, which was launched in mid-2017, has been burning money like there’s no tomorrow, as it has brought on a former Wall Street resident.
Despite the retrenchment, which Moncada considers as “restructuring,” the head of the Blockfolio C-suite underscores that his company has been “extremely frugal.” He also stresses that “proactive measures” have been taken in order to guarantee survival “in any market.” Still, insiders indicate the opposite. Unnamed sources tell The Block that Blockfolio has been “irresponsible” with its finances, reportedly venturing on expensive trips and initiating “extravagant” company launches.
One employee even claims that they “didn’t need 40 people,” putting the spotlight on the fact that Blackfolio’s rivals, most of which offer products of the same caliber. In addition, the company’s outlook does not appear any better.
Sources also claim that while Blockfolio’s $11.5 million reserved funds have certainly helped, the company is trapped in a difficult situation about monetization and a viable revenue model. These factors have perhaps resulted in this minor, yet still inopportune retrenchment.
However, although Blockfolio appears to be going through difficult times, other companies are doing much worse.
Very recently, reports began to circulate that several startups have started to lay off employees in order to extend their financial runways. ConsenSys, a major Ethereum development consortium, has reduced 13 percent of its 1,300 employees in a remarkable restructuring effort. Still, other reports have emerged stating that the New York-based organization has started to “spin-off” spokes, initiatives partly owned by ConsenSys, subsequently leaving hundreds with a job. Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys, has since belied the latter reports but confirmed the 13 percent cut.
Meanwhile, top crypto company Bitmain has also fallen to the same fate. Insiders say that the company will be closing its mining operations, reducing 1,350 employees (50 percent) in the process. Bitmain is also expected to lose its co-CEOs.
Just recently, ShapeShift, the startup behind ShapeShift exchange, Coincap, and KeepKey, has also cut one-third of the company’s employee base or equivalent to 37 individuals.