employee termination with glasses and pen

Prime Trust lays off one-third of staff becoming the latest in a string of industry tragedies

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Virtual currency services firm Prime Trust has reportedly terminated one-third of its workforce as the company navigates through uncertain terrain.

According to insider reports, the job cuts affected the firm’s communications and compliance departments, but the full extent of the layoffs remains unclear, pending an official disclosure. Individuals familiar with the matter suggest the terminations could extend to other departments of the firm, with the COVID-19 pandemic thought to be a contributing factor.

A LinkedIn search indicated that Prime Trust had 312 staff on its books, which points to the fact that the number of layoffs hovers at around 100 positions.

The move appears to be a cost-cutting measure by the firm as it has had to grapple with financial difficulties over the last few months. The firm recently said it would suspend business operations in Texas after withdrawing its application for a money transmitter license (MTL).

The firm was also hit with a slew of fines by regulators, with the latest being a $30,000 fine by Texas financial regulators for offering financial services in the state without a license. Apart from trouble with the authorities, Prime Trust has had to weather the storm of a corporate shakeup after new CEO Jor Low was brought in to replace Tom Pageler.

Prime Trust provides technical services to virtual asset companies like Swan, Okcoin, and Abra, with some currently employing cost-cutting measures. Abra laid off its Head of Research, Michael Maizels, and its Head of OTC, Robin Malik, amid a tapering of the sales and communications department.

“The layoffs were more of a cost-efficiency cutoff, where people weren’t getting business, for whom there was no work to be done – not performance-related at all,” said one Abra employee.

It remains unclear if Prime Trust had any exposure to the FTX collapse or other large-scale events that rocked the industry.

Another one bites the dust

Since the start of the year, virtual currency service providers have laid off nearly 3,000 individuals in 14 separate announcements. Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) made up the lion’s share of the figure as it announced the terminations of around 950 individuals, while Luno and Huobi announced layoffs of 330 and 320 individuals, respectively.

Other firms taking a hit from unfavorable market conditions include Crypto.com and the virtual asset conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG). Both firms laid off a combined total of over 500 individuals, while virtual currency custody provider Silvergate bank tapered its staff strength by 200.

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