Bitcoin Billionaires Lay Off 10% of Employees, Blame Market and 'Crypto Winter'

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss announced that Gemini would be making major staffing cuts, issuing a stark warning about the crypto market.

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By Emily Rella

Bloomberg / Getty Images
Bloomberg / Getty Images

Things aren't necessarily looking great for the crypto world, with reports of popular coins tumbling in recent weeks as the market tanks valuation of many investors' digital portfolios.

It seems like no one is immune to the downfall of the market, not even crypto billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who founded the crypto exchange platform Gemini which is currently worth an estimated $7.1 billion.

The CEO and President penned a letter to Gemini employees on Thursday (whom they call "astronauts") to inform their team that they would be cutting 10% of their total workforce due to what they are calling the "crypto winter."

Related: Bitcoin Billionaire Cameron Winklevoss Says Gold Could Be the Next GameStop

"The crypto revolution is well underway and its impact will continue to be profound," the twins explained to staff. "But its trajectory has been anything but gradual or predictable. Its path can best be described as punctuated equilibrium — periods of equilibrium or stasis that are punctuated by dramatic moments of hypergrowth, followed by sharp contractions that settle down to a new equilibrium that is higher than the one before."

Gemini closed all of its in-person offices upon releasing the news in an effort to hold compensation conversation with laid off individuals in a digital and private manner. A company all-hands meeting is set to take place on Friday to talk about next steps with remaining employees.

"Every great company throughout history has faced similar challenges along the way and Gemini is no different. And as painful as this moment is, we ultimately see it as an opportunity to double-down on our strongest ideas and customer-centric products so that we may be the catalyst of innovation coming out of these leaner times that will help fuel the next cycle of crypto growth and adoption," the letter maintained. "We have never had more conviction in our people, our products, and our mission — to unlock the next era of financial, creative, and personal freedom for our customers. Amazing awaits."

The Winklevoss twins, who were among the earliest investors in Bitcoin, made most of their money through settlement funds they were able to invest in the crypto game thanks to an estimated $65 million payout they received after a brutal lawsuit with Meta (then Facebook) founder Mark Zuckerberg after the twins claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook's original platform.

Related: Coinbase Just Launched America's First Regulated Bitcoin Exchange

Together, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are estimated to have a combined net worth of $6 billion.

The news of Gemini's layoffs shouldn't come as a surprise to those well-versed in the crypto game.

Just last month crypto exchange platform Coinbase reported a whopping $430 million loss in quarterly revenue during its Q1 2022 earnings reported and warned users of the platform that their crypto assets "could be subject to bankruptcy proceedings" in the event that Coinbase itself ever declared bankruptcy.

Rain Financial Inc, a popular crypto exchange in the Middle East that's financially backed by Coinbase, also announced a series of over a dozen layoffs on Thursday following the news of Gemini.

According to Coinbase, Bitcoin was down just shy of 20% year over year as of late Thursday afternoon, with Ethereum down nearly 33% during the same time period.

Related: Here's a Beginner's Guide to Crypto, NFTs, and the Metaverse

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Emily Rella is a news writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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