Axios Pro: Fintech Deals

January 25, 2023

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Situational awareness: Celsius is considering issuing a new token to repay creditors as part of a proposal to reorganize and exit bankruptcy.

1 big thing: Digital Currency Group woes continue

Illustration of two cursor hands holding a box full of office supplies.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Luno, the exchange subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, is laying off 35% of its workforce, the company announced today.

Why it matters: It’s yet another part of the DCG empire showing cracks.

Driving the news: Luno informed employees via companywide video and an internal message that it would be reducing headcount in all markets as a result of crypto winter.

  • Citing the blowups of Luna, Three Arrows, and FTX, CEO Marcus Swanepoel wrote that funding has become scarcer, while profitability reigns. Market sentiment, meanwhile, has soured on crypto businesses.
  • “While we anticipated a downturn and proactively planned ahead with a business and funding model that can be resilient to some of these factors, the sheer scale and speed of all of this happening, and all at the same time, has put significant strain on our original plan,” he wrote.

The big picture: The recent downturn has slammed DCG. One of its most prominent subsidiaries, crypto lender Genesis, filed for bankruptcy just last week amid direct ties to FTX and 3AC.

Background: DCG acquired Luno back in September 2020 when the company had nearly 400 employees.

  • Before the layoffs, the company had grown to over 900, a spokesperson confirmed — suggesting roughly 315 positions were cut.

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