– Cyrus Fazel: “The crypto industry has been through a pretty extreme situation”
With 27 departures, including 24 direct jobs, the Lausanne platform SwissBorg has not escaped the wave of layoffs that has been hitting the crypto industry for several weeks. Its founder Cyrus Fazel is refocusing on development and aims to maintain its roadmap.
The event was made public via the Twitter account of its founder Cyrus Fazel this Friday: the Lausanne crypto platform SwissBorg, used by nearly 700,000 people in a hundred countries, is separating from 27 employees, or around 8 to 9% workforce.
An announcement that is part of a fundamental trend, which saw Coinbase announce in June the layoff of 1,100 people (18% of the workforce), BlockFi 20% of its workforce, or Gemini of the Winklevoss brothers 10% of the workforce. . In total, more than 2000 people are said to have lost their jobs in the crypto industry in less than two months.
As the Terra Crash continues to rock the crypto-sphere, Cyrus Fazel believes the worst is probably behind and maintains his ambitions.
SwissBorg announced the departure of 27 people. In which departments and how many of them in Switzerland?
In terms of direct jobs, we are talking about 24 people, including 20 abroad, only 4 in Switzerland. The job cuts focus on positions where there is not the same need in the bull market or in the bear market, namely, events, marketing, business development. When you grow so fast, sometimes you make a few mistakes.
Technical positions, such as developers, are not affected?
No, because the bear market marks the time to refocus on development and prepare for the future. On the contrary, we recruited a blockchain developer, who was available following the bankruptcy of his company. We weren’t able to offer him conditions as favorable as his previous employer, but we see that a good developer always finds work.
Should we expect more layoffs at SwissBorg?
We hope it will stop there, we are doing everything for it. The industry has already experienced a rather extreme situation, we observe it among all of our competitors. BlockFi has laid off a lot, Voyager is on the verge of bankruptcy, Celsius has been in default for several weeks. Blockchain.com also lost 250 million. There was imprudent management, with a lot of leverage effects, as we saw in the case of Three Arrows Capital, which we did not do. As in most crises, we faced a liquidity problem, many positions had to be liquidated with cascading consequences on interconnected players.
SwissBorg itself raised fears as the synthetic ether STETH, which you are exposed to, lost parity with ether. Just after Terra’s UST depeg. Where we are?
Today, we are back to less than 2% difference. People make assumptions, but the situation had nothing to do with the UST depeg. I think we are heading towards stabilization in the market. Two of the biggest players in the industry, Alameda and FTX, led by Sam Bankman-Fried, are increasing large investments to save platforms like BlockFi – 400 million injected – or Voyager. They seem to have decided to stop the bleeding, and certainly have the means. A 70% drop in the market is already a more than significant correction.
The worst is behind…
I don’t have a crystal ball, but we see semi-qualified investors going into bitcoin at 20,000, which we can consider an attractive medium-term price. Of course, the stabilization is fragile. The strong correlation between the NASDAQ and the crypto market is a dependency factor, we expect the Fed rate announcement on July 28th.
Does SwissBorg maintain its ambitious roadmap under current conditions?
Some minor projects will be put on hold, such as payment projects, or the integration of some currencies. But we are maintaining our focus on the main axes: ETFs, new à la carte yield products with more control for the investor. Also the play-and-earn part, with the X Borg, and this educational and playful dimension towards investment. We will continue to build, the bear markets are made for that.
Joan Plancade is an economic and investigative journalist for Bilan, a critical observer of the Swiss and international tech scene. He is interested in fundamental trends that are reshaping the economy and society. More informations
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