2TM Group, the parent company of Brazil-based cryptocurrency exchange Mercado Bitcoin, has announced that it will lay off 90 employees of its 750 staff members. The company reportedly aims to reduce operational costs amid the current global financial situation.
According to reports, 2TM Group plans to lay off more than 10 percent of its employees. The company said their former employees would receive help to find jobs at other firms and get their health insurance extended.
“The scenario required adjustments that go beyond the reduction of operating expenses, making it also necessary to dismiss some of our employees,” the company explained. “The process we carried out was guided by transparency and respect, in order to honor the legacy of each employee who helped us get here.”
2TM Group explained the high-interest rates and the growing inflation that had affected the crypto market as reasons for laying off employees. The company also cited the Brazilian government’s lack of regulation in the crypto industry.
"At 2TM, we unified our brands and concluded the integration of companies acquired in 2021, seeking efficiency and synergy," 2TM said.
"Even so, adversity in the economy continues, and the competitive environment continues deteriorated and unfair without the approval of the legal framework for crypto assets, with players that follow the laws penalized against companies that ignore local rules."
Reinaldo Rabelo, Mercado Bitcoin's chief executive officer, said that “when done well,” a proper regulation would grant the crypto industry “freedom with responsibility.” Rabelo further explained that it would strengthen Brazil’s position in the digital economy by stimulating innovation and investments.
The bill to regulate the crypto industry was supposed to be passed in April after approval from the Brazilian Senate. However, the process is still pending approval from the lower house. Reports said that it was unlikely for the bill to pass before the upcoming presidential elections, which will happen in October.
Mercado Bitcoin is one of the biggest crypto exchanges within the Latam network. Data showed that Mercado Bitcoin processed transactions up to 40 billion Brazilian reals (approximately $7.74 billion) in 2021.
In July 2021, 2TM Group managed to raise $200 million from the SoftBank Latin America Fund. Then, in November 2021, the company raised $50 million for its Series B funding round. Earlier this year, 2TM Group announced an expansion to Europe with CriptoLoja, a Portugal-based exchange.
Other crypto companies laying off employees
Other crypto companies also trimmed their labor structures during the market depreciation in the crypto industry. Coinbase, an American crypto exchange, announced that it would stop hiring new employees and take back offerings for employees who had not started working in the company.
Mexico-based crypto exchange Bitso also announced that it would lay off 80 employees in May. In March, Coinbase reportedly planned to acquire Bitso, but the talk later fell through in May, and Bitso opted to trim down its personnel to prepare for the future's uncertainty.
Another Latam-based crypto exchange, Buenbit, also announced that it would cut 100 employees in May. Before announcing the plan, the Argentine exchange had 215 people on its staff.