As published on businesstimes.com.sg, Friday 24 March, 2023.
Singapore is used to being at the top for many things. This time, it topped a list of major cities associated with crypto layoffs from the period of February 2022 to February 2023. The data is an indication of how significant a hub Singapore was for the crypto industry at one point.
The report, from Bitcoin Casinos, combined data from layoffs.fyi and other public reports. The number of crypto layoffs by companies with headquarters in Singapore reached 3,719 within the tracked period.
This beat the industry’s layoffs for companies headquartered in other major cities, such as the San Francisco Bay Area – where FTX was based – as well as New York. Companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area reported 3,454 layoffs, while New York-headquartered companies had 1,754.
Bitcoin Casinos said Singapore’s figures were due to a mass layoff by Crypto.com, which calls the island-nation its home. From 2022 to 2023, the company let go of 2,750 employees in total.
Liam Solomon, growth manager at Bitcoin Casinos, said while the layoffs point to a downturn for the immediate future, most companies are just returning to their pre-boom size.
“As with other startups, businesses and entities made from shaky foundations aren’t likely to succeed. Fad offerings and trendy job roles will be shed by companies, but the useful, valuable roles within crypto will become even more important,” added Solomon.
“Skills in marketing, tech, UX (user experience), accounting and even compliance are likely to grow in demand – so workers unsure of their future would be smart to look into more ‘traditional’ roles if they wish to continue their crypto careers.”
Last year has been described by industry players as a “crypto winter”, after major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin fell below US$16,000. This was after it peaked at about US$69,000.
A few of crypto’s largest players, including FTX, 3AC and Terraform Labs, were forced into liquidation one after another, following a sharp drop in cryptocurrency values. Terraform Labs was the issuer for TerraUSD tokens, a stablecoin that was meant to be pegged to the US dollar but later collapsed.
While Bitcoin has bounced back to trade at slightly over US$27,000, it is hard to say for sure that the winter has come to an end.