CoinDCX lays off 10% of workforce amid dwindling trading volume

Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX has announced a reduction in its workforce by roughly 12%, a move attributed to evolving business priorities and a challenging business environment.

Sumit Gupta, CEO of CoinDCX met CZ, CEO of Binance

The layoffs have not been confined to a single department; rather, they have impacted employees across various functions within the company. Founders Sumit Gupta and Neeraj Khandelwal addressed the layoffs in a recent blog post, stating that the decision was necessary given the current landscape.

This decision reflects the broader situation faced by crypto startups, as regulatory uncertainties and a massive decline in trading volumes—ranging from 85% to 90% over the past year—have impacted the industry’s stability.

CoinDCX, which operates an aggregator of cryptocurrency trading services, claims to have versatile financial instruments and deep order books targeting a variety of trading use-cases.

Gupta explained that the intention behind these measures is to steer the business toward sustainable growth and profitability.

“Today, some of our incredibly talented team members will be parting ways with the organization. We are deeply sorry for that and we want to share our thoughts and reasons for the same. As you all know, startups and businesses globally are going through challenging times due to tough macro conditions, more so in crypto because of the prolonged bear market and impact of TDS on domestic exchanges,” said Gupta in the email.

The decision to reduce the workforce reflects the broader trend of adapting to changing market conditions, the challenges posed by regulatory uncertainties and subsided trading activities.

CoinDCX experienced an internal restructuring in January, but the company denied layoffs at that time. In August 2021, CoinDCX achieved unicorn status after raising $90 million in a Series C funding round. Subsequently, the firm secured an additional $135 million in funding, surpassing a valuation of $2 billion in April 2022.

At the time, Gupta said he plans to use part of the funds to triple his team in the next six months to about 1,000 people by the year-end. The 31-year-old engineer set up CoinDCX five years ago as a registered company in Singapore. He also aims to expand its user base to 50 million from 3.5 million over the next few years and focus on educating Indian users on crypto and blockchain.

The company’s journey hasn’t been without challenges. In July 2022, the Enforcement Directorate in India summoned various cryptocurrency firms, including CoinDCX, to investigate potential violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

CoinDCX and other Indian are betting on global markets after most of their peers shut down operations after banks cut off access to local crypto exchanges. Those trying to survive the uncertain phase are exploring options, including crypto-to-crypto, P2P, and derivatives products.