Business 5 February 2019

Steve Kaaru

Canadian exchange Coinsquare lays off 40 including COO and CFO

Coinsquare has announced it is laying off 40 of its employees. The move aims to streamline the crypto exchange in light of an ever-evolving market. Based in Toronto, Coinsquare is one of Canada’s biggest crypto exchanges. With the company having 150 employees, the layoffs amount to over 25 percent.

The layoffs affected multiple departments including some key executives. One of them is Robert Mueller, the firm’s COO who has been at the firm for just a year. Ken Tsang also lost his position as the firm’s CFO, a position he also held for just a year. A former investment banking heavyweight, Tsang was hired at the same time as Mueller.

The layoffs come unexpectedly and against a wave of positive moves by the company. In December last year, Coinsquare announced that it had expanded into 25 European countries. The CEO, Cole Diamond, at the time expressed the exchange’s desire to conquer the world of cryptos, further making the layoffs unexpected.

Even more perplexing was the firm’s digital strategist’s comments about the firm’s profitability. According to Thomas Jankowski, the company was seeing ‘exponential returns’ in all its areas of business. Coinsquare also acquired BlockEQ, a crypto wallet that runs on the Stellar blockchain for $12 million.

Coinsquare’s head of talent, Martin Hauck stated that this is just a natural phase every crypto firm goes through. Writing on his LinkedIn page, he stated: The ever-evolving digital currency/cryptocurrency space has been volatile and unpredictable. Many similar companies in our industry have had to make some tough choices in recent months and Coinsquare has had to as well.

The exchange is ranked as the 70th largest globally by CoinMarketCap. In the past 24 hours, it had facilitated $7.1 million worth of crypto trades, 85 percent being Bitcoin to Canadian Dollar.

Coinsquare Is Not In Trouble, CEO Says

Despite the layoffs, Coinsquare is not in any trouble, financial or otherwise. This is according to Cole Diamond, the CEO who insists the firm has an “incredibly strong balance sheet.” Speaking to Betakit, a Canadian media outlet, he explained:

“As you are probably aware, QuadrigaCX, our main competitor in Canada, is offline. And we know that other exchanges in this country are in trouble. Coinsquare is in absolutely no trouble.”

Calling the layoffs a strategic repositioning, Diamond revealed that the firm had added 23 members to its team after acquiring Tipcoin, a blockchain-based loyalty rewards startup. He attributed the success of the firm during the tough crypto winter to its prudent money management.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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