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Crypto Broker NYDIG Lays Off One-Third of Staff to Narrow Focus

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NYDIG, the bitcoin trading and banking firm, laid off about a third of its workforce last month, people familiar with the matter said.

Company executives informed employees affected by the job cuts, which numbered around 110, on Sept. 22, the people said. Employees were told the firm was seeking to trim expenses and narrow its focus to more-promising businesses, the people said.

The cutbacks came less than two weeks before NYDIG announced publicly that it had replaced its top two executives. On Oct. 3, NYDIG said that Chief Executive Robert Gutmann and President Yan Zhao had stepped down from their roles. The executives, who will remain with NYDIG parent Stone Ridge Holdings Group, were replaced by Tejas Shah, formerly head of institutional finance, and Nate Conrad, global head of payments, respectively.

NYDIG didn’t specify in its statement why the firm was swapping out its top executives, and didn’t note the recent layoffs. The company statement said it was on pace for record revenue this year, with sales up 130% during the first half. Ross Stevens, NYDIG’s founder, said, “The firm’s balance sheet is the strongest it’s ever been, and now we’re investing aggressively into a capital-starved market.”

NYDIG executives didn’t return requests for comment. The company’s public-relations firm declined to comment.

Founded in 2017 as New York Digital Investment Group, NYDIG offers bitcoin trading, brokerage, custody and asset management services to institutional investors. In December, the company raised $1 billion in a funding round that valued it at more than $7 billion. A year earlier, NYDIG facilitated Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s purchase of $100 million in bitcoin, a deal that underscored mainstream finance’s emerging interest in cryptocurrency. As part of that transaction, MassMutual acquired a $5 million minority equity stake in NYDIG.

Messrs. Stevens and Gutmann and Ms. Zhao co-founded the finance firm Stone Ridge in 2012. Mr. Gutmann will remain on the NYDIG board.

This year brought a dramatic reversal to both digital currencies and the cluster of companies built to serve those markets. Some of the largest crypto companies, including Genesis Global Trading,

Coinbase Global Inc.

and BlockFi, have cut staff this year as a brutal selloff wiped out $2 trillion of market value. Others, including the lenders Celsius Network LLC and

Voyager Digital,

sought bankruptcy protection from creditors.

The executive suites at crypto companies have been in flux.

Genesis,

MicroStrategy,

Kraken and the U.S. arm of the crypto exchange FTX all had senior executives step down in recent months

Write to Vicky Ge Huang at [email protected] and Justin Baer at [email protected]

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