Brutal reckoning for crypto continues as local exchange Swyftx sacks another 90 staff

Brisbane-based crypto exchange Swyftx has sacked another 90 staff, the second round of job losses this year, in the fallout the collapse of high profile global player FTX.

Dec 05, 2022, updated Dec 05, 2022
Swyftx founders Angus Goldman and Alex Harper

Swyftx founders Angus Goldman and Alex Harper

It’s the second round of layoffs for the company, which boasts 630,000 customers, and which announced the loss of about 70 jobs earlier this year.

It follows a global shakeout of the crypto sector following the collapse of US based FTX, once valued at $32 billion. Singapore based Bybit was forced to sack 30 per cent of its staff recently. Coinjar also sacked some its workers last week.

The collapse of FTX followed claims that billions had been siphoned from the company and put into the accounts of other trading companies.

“Sadly, we have let go of staff in expectation of a potentially sharp fall in global trade volumes in the first half of 2023 and further aftershocks from FTX’s collapse,” a Swyftx spokesman said.  

“Prudently managing the business remains our priority next year. We remain one of the two largest exchange teams in Australia, meaning we’ll continue to provide the highest standards of compliance, security and customer experience in the ANZ region.” 

A memo to Swyftx staff by co-founder Alex Harper said the company was not directly exposed to the FTX collapse, but it had to prepare for a worst-case scenario of significant drops of global trading volumes.

Only on Monday morning, The Australian reported that Swyftx had paid out $48.5 million in dividends earlier this year before it tapped the market for funding. It was also in the middle of a merger with budget stockbroking company Superhero.

However, Swyftx’s earnings for the June year were slashed to $36.7 million from $48.2 million the previous year.

“We know not everyone will understand the sudden need for this (job losses), especially since November’s increase in trade volumes and this week’s unqualified financial audit, but our priority at this time is to emerge from the current market in a position of strength,” Harper told staff.

“As a business we acknowledge that we are looking at costs through a lens of extreme caution, but I’m afraid we cannot take risks.

“We are simply far larger than we need to be to operate and grow next year and beyond.”

“The truth is Swyftx grew too fast. Our world was very different at the start of the year and our forecasts for global trading volumes to carry on rising for at least six months longer than they did.”

Harper said the job losses were separate to its equity raising and said that compared with other exchanges, Swyftx was in a position of strength.

“Cryptocurrency wasn’t the villain in this story, it was all too familiar greed and indifference.”




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