Top crypto exchange platform BitMEX fired 30% of its employees following its decision to look the other way from its strategy of “beyond derivatives” last May – a spot market launch that the platform thought would help get back on its toes and proceed with its standard process. However, according to the report from The Block, the strategy needed to meet its expectations, forcing the company to cut down on the workforce.
The layoffs came after Alexander Hoptner resigned from his BitMEX CEO position. The change of power also brought new contingency plans and prompt alternatives to keep the exchange afloat.
A spokesperson from Bitmex said, “Our top priority is to make sure all employees who will be impacted have the support they require. Each of them have been instrumental in the remarkable journey Bitmex has taken from its roots as a small startup to one of the top crypto exchanges in the world.”
BitMEX Under Pressure
2022 did not bode a good year for BitMEX. In April, the exchange had to remove around 75 employees after it failed to claim Bakhaus von der Heydt, a German bank. Fast forward to the last week of October, the CEO left his position, leading to some confusion in the company and its users.
However, even before this year, especially in 2019 and 2020, BitMEX struggled. Alexander Hoptner’s resignation was not the first time the exchange platform had the head of the company leave.
Arthur Hayes, the co-founder of BitMEX, stepped down as the CEO after a series of lawsuits from the Department of Justice and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He pleaded guilty to the violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. As a consequence and a procedure in his two-year probationary period, he was sentenced to six months of house arrest.
After its foundation in 2014, BitMEX was one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, boasting over 35% in Bitcoin futures. However, it only holds 2% of the market share these days versus Coinbase, Binance, and FTX.
People on social media have been discussing the fate of BitMEX after its fall from grace, as some speculate that it is just running on life support. After multiple aggressive legal actions of the US government against the exchange platform, BitMEX is still coping and hoping it will bounce back at some point.
Current Market Conditions Affecting Crypto Companies
The 2022 crypto winter is considered the worst bear market in crypto history. It comes alongside terrible inflation and a recession period that is as bad (or worse) as the 2008 financial crash. With such conditions affecting the globe, cryptocurrency companies kept walking on thin ice.
Crypto exchanges FTX and Coinbase also laid off their employees after a series of legal actions of the Feds and buyers staying off the financial playground. However, Binance, Kraken, and Polygon have been actively hiring new people.
In addition to the platform layoffs, here are some of the adverse events since the start of the year besides the releases:
- Crypto-lending platform Celsius went bankrupt
- Mega hedge fund Three Arrows Capital filed for bankruptcy
- Ripple Labs continue to fight against the SEC
- The crash of LUNA (from $120 to 0)
- The depegging of UST
- Terra Labs founder Do Kwon on the run
- Powerful nations such as the US and China implementing CBDCs
- Higher crypto taxes from different governments around the globe
- Massive hacks across multiple bridge protocols
- Solana wallets got hacked
- Ronin’s wallet got hacked after the NFT game Axie Infinity was breached
- NFT scam cases in Bored Ape Yacht Club
- Lawsuits against Hollywood celebrities endorsing NFTs
- Low trading volumes in NFT marketplaces