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Crypto cuts continue: NFT startups release top engineers

Despite a landmark decision in the world of crypto regulation yesterday with the SEC's ruling on Ripple Labs' XRP currency, crypto at large is far from thriving. One area in a particularly rough patch is the NFT sector, with multiple firms making major cuts recently.

Most prominently is Dapper Labs, which announced cuts to 51 employees. This is its third round of cuts in nine months: first 22% in November, then 20% more in February, now an estimated 13%.

Among those laid off is staff engineer Ryan Tinianov, who joined last January and described his departure as "quite a shock." Tiniov spent the bulk of his career in FAANG, working at AWS, Microsoft and Google, where he was a level three engineer. "About a week before, I was discussing a promotion with my manager," Tiniov said, "and he was supporting it."

Dapper labs isn't the only one cutting. NFT firms Candy Digital and Palm NFT Studio announced a merger two weeks ago, with 30 employees expected to be released as a result.

The biggest player in the space, OpenSea, hasn't had any layoffs since this time last year, when it cut 20% of its workforce. Speaking on the Proof of Talent Podcast, head of talent Calder Zwerling said hires in recent years "weren't as committed to the mission and what we're really building," and that some were looking for "a quick IPO or opportunity to cash out."

Zwerling takes a similar stance to Coinbase's Brian Armstrong, saying talent today "is coming to us because they believe in the vision." However, Tiniov noted that "those who remained on my team were those who had been with the company longer." Should that trend continue, a lack of job security for new recruits may reduce the number of candidates who believe in the vision.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Reporter

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