Crypto exchange WazirX laid off 40 percent of its staff last week, including members from its policy, communications and marketing teams, said multiple people in the know of the matter. This comes a week after the exchange said that the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) had unfrozen its bank accounts, allowing the platform to resume banking operations after almost a month.
The crypto exchange in its statement said, "As India's no 1 exchange, our priority is to be financially stable and to continue serving our customers. To achieve this, we've had to reduce our staff to weather the crypto winter."
"This situation is similar to the trying times the industry faced in 2018; at that time, we doubled down and built our innovative P2P engine. The crypto industry operates in cycles and the bear market is inevitably followed by a spectacular bull market. We will continue to focus on our customer needs and continue to build. We are confident that we will come out stronger when the bull market arrives," it added.
The Nischal Shetty-led company has been under scrutiny for more than a year now. This also escalated when Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said it did not own WazirX a few hours after ED froze WazirX bank accounts. This acquisition deal was understood to be completed back in 2019.
This eventually led to a Twitter spat between WazirX co-founder Nischal Shetty and Zhao on August 6 and 7. Binance also removed the off-chain fund transfer channel between WazirX and Binance. Off-chain fund transfers are transactions occurring outside the blockchain network. Due to their zero/low cost or gas fee, off-chain transactions have been popular.Over the last few months, the exchange has also seen a slew of exits after co-founders Shetty and Siddharth Menon announced their new projects in the Web3 domain.