Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss (LR), creators of the crypto-exchange Gemini Trust Co. on the stage of the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a cryptocurrency conference held at the Mana Convention Center in Winwood on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Riddle | Getty Images

Billionaires bitcoiners Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss lay off 10% of the workforce at Gemini, the first for the U.S. stock market and custodian of cryptocurrencies.

The twins announced in a blog post Thursday morning that the industry is in a “shrinking phase” known as the “crypt of winter”, which is “further exacerbated by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical upheavals.”

“We are not alone,” the note continued. An employee of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently reported that revenue fell 27% from a year ago, as did total usage.

It’s been a tough few weeks for the crypto market. Half a trillion dollars were wiped off the market capitalization of the sector when terraUSD, one of the most popular stablecoins pegged to the U.S. dollar, collapsed virtually overnight. It is unclear whether this recent defeat of the next crypto means winter (a perennial bear market that occurs on a cyclical basis for the crypto asset class), although declining cryptocurrency trading is a sign that we can move in that direction.

The last so-called cryptocurrency lasted from 2018 to the fall of 2020, when the value of cryptocurrencies fell and there were often layoffs.

According to Pitchbook, Gemini, which has been in existence since 2014 and is valued at $ 7.1 billion at the time of the last round of funding, has 1,033 people on payroll, meaning about 100 employees affected by today’s layoffs. CNBC asked Gemini to ask for an exact figure, but the press service declined to comment outside of the blog post.

As for the next steps, Gemini today closed its physical offices to protect employee privacy. Affected team members will receive a calendar invitation for individual conversations about separation packages and health benefits. On Friday, the rest of the staff will take part in a “company standout” to talk about its future.

The note said Gemini wants to focus only on products that are critical to its mission – and team leaders will assess whether their teams are “the right size” for “current, turbulent market conditions that are likely to persist for some time.”

“Today is a difficult day, but one that will make the Twins better in the long run,” the brothers wrote in a note to all employees.

Other tech startups, such as Robinhood and BitMEX, have recently cut staff.

But even as crypto companies cut their lists, venture capitalists continue to pour money into the crypto ecosystem. Andreessen Horowitz recently announced a $ 4.5 billion fund to support crypto and blockchain companies, and Binance Labs (the company’s venture capital) has raised $ 500 million for a fund that invests in Web3 startups.

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