Gemini, a crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, lays off 10% of its workforce amid crypto slump
Gemini, a crypto startup founded by billionaire twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, announced on Thursday it is laying off 10% of its workforce, making it the first U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange and custodian company to suffer the crypto slump casualty.
In a Thursday blog post, the company told staff of plans to slash the employee count due to what it refers to as “crypto winter.” The twin brothers said the industry is in a “contraction phase” known as “crypto winter,” which has been “further compounded by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil.”
“Impacted Astronauts will receive a calendar invite today for an individual conversation to provide information on the separation package and healthcare benefits we are providing.”
Gemini was founded in 2015, by brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, to build a bridge to the future of money. Its goal is to build a world-class digital asset exchange and custodian based in the United States. Gemini dubs itself a next-generation cryptocurrency exchange and a platform for buying, selling, storing, and earning cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ether, and DeFi (Decentralized Finance) tokens. Gemini also allows customers to buy, sell, and store digital assets.
Gemini provides a simple and secure platform for crypto investors to build their crypto portfolios. The startup also runs a non-fungible token or NFT marketplace for digital art and collectibles which has 375 unique artist collaborations.
According to a story in the New York Times, the Winklevoss brothers bought $11 million worth of Bitcoins in 2013. They soon became crypto evangelists, which led to the creation of the crypto exchange Gemini. Each of the twins is reportedly worth $1.4 billion apiece, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The Winklevoss twins are best known for their feud with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg over whether he stole the idea for the social networking website from them. The twin brothers are also known for co-founding HarvardConnection (later renamed ConnectU) along with Harvard classmate Divya Narendra.
In 2004, the Winklevoss brothers sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he stole their ConnectU idea to create the popular social networking site Facebook.
Below is the full message.
“The following message was shared with Gemini employees this morning.
Fellow Astronauts — we are writing to update you on a difficult decision that will impact a number of you and the overall size of our team. But first, we want to start by reiterating what we’ve said many times before and can’t be said enough — our people are our greatest asset. Without you, Gemini simply wouldn’t be here today.
Your hard work and dedication has propelled Gemini to heights that would have been hard to imagine when we first started building eight years ago, in the Fall of 2014. You shape our culture, drive our innovation, and breathe life and energy into our products that have brought greater choice, independence, and opportunity to millions of people around the world.
The crypto revolution is well underway and its impact will continue to be profound. But its trajectory has been anything but gradual or predictable. Its path can best be described as punctuated equilibrium — periods of equilibrium or stasis that are punctuated by dramatic moments of hypergrowth, followed by sharp contractions that settle down to a new equilibrium that is higher than the one before. This is where we are now, in the contraction phase that is settling into a period of stasis — what our industry refers to as “crypto winter.” This has all been further compounded by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil. We are not alone.
To that end, we have asked team leaders to ensure that they are focused only on products that are critical to our mission and assess whether their teams are right-sized for the current, turbulent market conditions that are likely to persist for some time. After much thought and consideration, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to part ways with approximately 10% of our workforce.
Impacted Astronauts will receive a calendar invite today for an individual conversation to provide information on the separation package and healthcare benefits we are providing. We have closed all of our physical offices today so that these conversations will be held remotely to protect the privacy of each impacted individual. Our highest priority throughout will be to treat everyone affected with compassion and respect.
Tomorrow, we will hold a company-wide standup with all remaining Astronauts to talk about the future ahead.
Today is a tough day, but one that will make Gemini better over the long run. Constraint is the mother of innovation and difficult times are a forcing function for focus, which is critical to the success of any startup. Every great company throughout history has faced similar challenges along the way and Gemini is no different. And as painful as this moment is, we ultimately see it as an opportunity to double-down on our strongest ideas and customer-centric products so that we may be the catalyst of innovation coming out of these leaner times that will help fuel the next cycle of crypto growth and adoption. We have never had more conviction in our people, our products, and our mission — to unlock the next era of financial, creative, and personal freedom for our customers. Amazing awaits.
Onward and Upward,
Cameron + Tyler”