India crypto exchange WazirX on Sunday clarified that the company laid off 40% of its employees to weather crypto winter. “Our priority is to be financially stable and to continue serving our customers. To achieve this, we have had to reduce our staff to weather the crypto winter,” WazirX said in a statement.
Earlier on Saturday, Coindesk reported that three persons acquainted with the situation, 50 to 70 employees, or 40% of the exchange’s 150-person workforce, were laid off. “The laid-off staff was notified on Friday that they would be paid for 45 days, that they would no longer be obliged to report for work, and that their access would be revoked simultaneously,” Coindesk stated.
WazirX daily trading volumes have been steadily declining from a one-year high of 478 million on October 28, 2021, to 1.3 million on October 2, 2022, according to CoinGecko data.
The statement further noted that the crypto market has been in the grip of a bear market because of the current global economic slowdown. “The Indian crypto industry has had unique problems with taxes, regulations, and banking access.”
“This situation is similar to the trying times the industry faced in 2018; at that time, we doubled down and built our innovative P2P engine. The crypto industry operates in cycles and the bear market is inevitably followed by a spectacular bull market. We will continue to focus on our customer needs and continue to build. We are confident that we will come out stronger when the bull market arrives,” the company further explained.
Furthermore, in recent days, the Indian exchange has experienced a host of issues, including an online battle between WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao over whether Binance is the Indian exchange’s parent business. On August 5, 2022, Changpeng Zhao, CEO, Binance, in a series of tweets distanced itself from Binance. Meanwhile, Binance had removed the off-chain fund transfer channel between WazirX and Binance.
WazirX was also the subject of a money laundering inquiry undertaken by India’s Directorate of Enforcement, which included a raid on one of the company’s directors.