CoinSwitch, a crypto asset platform based in Bengaluru, has undertaken its first round of layoffs, affecting 44 employees primarily in the customer support team. According to a spokesperson from CoinSwitch, the decision was made to streamline their customer support operations in accordance with the current volume of user inquiries on their platform. This resulted in the voluntary resignation of these employees following detailed discussions with their managers earlier this month.
Moneycontrol, which initially reported on this development, suggested that there were also layoffs within the operations team. However, CoinSwitch’s spokesperson clarified that there isn’t a distinct operations team specifically for their Virtual Digital Assets Business.
CoinSwitch, established in 2017 by Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni, and Vimal Sagar, emerged as a global aggregator of crypto exchanges and extended its services to India in June 2020. Notably well-funded, the company garnered $260 million in Series C funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Coinbase Ventures, propelling it into the unicorn status. Across three funding rounds, CoinSwitch has amassed over $400 million in investments.
In a separate incident last year, CoinSwitch’s offices were subject to a raid by the Enforcement Directorate due to alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act. Other crypto entities like CoinDCX and WazirX also faced similar actions from the government agency.
Recently, CoinDCX, another crypto unicorn, laid off 71 employees due to the extended bear market and the effects of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on domestic exchanges. On a global scale, various prominent crypto companies, including Coinbase, Polygon, Genesis Global Trading, Dapper Labs, and Messari, underwent substantial workforce reductions in 2023.
Although cryptocurrencies have not been officially banned by the Indian government, increased regulatory scrutiny and significant taxation have posed challenges for investors in supporting startups focused on cryptocurrencies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also advocated for international collaboration in shaping crypto regulations during the annual Group of 20 (G20) summit.