Most investors have already been told that cryptocurrency is a volatile field. Values change every day – new reports from federal governments or private enterprises roil markets. Small traders and whales alike hit the sell and buy buttons. Things change.
But some of these bumps in the road come at a human cost. For example, today, Cointelegraph is reporting on development house Lightcurve laying off a full 40% of its employees.
Lightcurve is part of Lisk’s open source blockchain community – the bad news was delivered by Lisk cofounder Max Kordek, who explained it this way:
“The reasons were to decrease our burn rate which by a large degree consisted of human resources costs, and to decrease our operational overhead in order to become more agile again.”
This corporate-speak way to talk about burning money more slowly doesn’t sound very immediate, but 21 people are going to be looking for work.
Although we always say that we count volatility into the cost of doing business in this sector, it’s still disturbing when people get suddenly laid off from their jobs.
Here’s Joe Lubin of Consensys in one of the biggest layoffs last year, talking about the rationale and the way forward:
“What I’ve witnessed among the chattering class the past few weeks in response to ConsenSys 2.0 is a rather typical tune: the alarmed, the eulogistic, and the gleeful. We have been on the receiving end of an epic amount of conjecture and preemptive paranoia — filled with damning rhetoric about situations journalists and bloggers don’t have real data for, actual insight into, or understanding of … The sky is not falling. From my perspective, the future looks very bright. I remain excited about scalability solutions that are available now or are becoming available for use in early 2019, core Ethereum protocol development that is accelerating, and the continued maturation of the token economy, which will see many exciting consumer utility tokens and tokenized security launches in the new year.”
Despite clarifying goals, Lubin probably didn’t have to neg journalists and other outside onlookers, because layoffs are factually disruptive. Regardless of what the CEO thinks, or what the direction is, layoffs are a bummer for those professional coding journeymen and journeywomen who have to pick up their tools and move on.
As for Lightcurve, Jack Martin’s report at Cointelegraph today reveals that “the remaining 32 (Lightcurve) employees will continue to focus on building the Lisk platform from Lightcurve’s Berlin-based offices.”
It also identifies none other than Consensys as closing offices and paying off 11 more people, as well as further layoffs by blockchain company Circle, and a 20% cut by Chainalysis. Layoffs may not spell doom for a particular shop, but they are disruptive. Look for ripples in crypto markets.