22.10.2020

Consensys Cuts Hundreds of Jobs This Year

The decision comes after a virtual town hall meeting on April 20, reports say. The number of employees sacked at Consensys this year now runs into a few hundred, following another round of dismissals in February. Then, 14% of the staff were sent home.

Ethereum-based company Consensys has cut hundreds of jobs since January. In its latest action, the US-based blockchain development team confirmed it will slash more than 90 jobs – or 14% of its workforce – citing the global impact of Covid-19.

In a statement, Consensys said it is rebalancing its priorities and re-evaluating timelines in light of the uncertainty brought into the market by the pandemic. “In such an environment, we must make changes to conserve resources and ensure our continued ability to support our customers, drive innovation, and serve the broader ecosystem,” the Joseph Lubin-led company said.

The firm, whose global team features software developers, security experts, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and others, will provide dismissed employees with two months of severance pay and career transition services.

Consensys Cuts Hundreds of Jobs This Year - About 25% of Its Staff Slashed

Continued the statement:

All key operational aspects of the business are preserved to ensure the development and service of key products and solutions. Consensys remains focused on a core mission to enable developers and enterprises to deploy and operationalize blockchain-based products.

The February job losses were billed as part of a restructuring exercise that sought to separate the company’s software development from its venture activities. Jobs across human resources, finance, and marketing were affected while product teams were left intact.

Consensys said it is currently working on “crisis-related opportunities such as Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), emergency loans disbursement solutions, supply chains for personal protective equipment (PPE), and related identity solutions.”

In 2018, the company laid off over 1,000 employees, around 13% of its workforce at the time. Consensys was founded in 2014 and operates in more than 30 countries.

ConsenSys Acquires US Broker-Dealer in Bid to Tokenize Trillion-Dollar ‘Muni’ Bond Market

ConsenSys has purchased a U.S.-based broker-dealer in an attempt to overhaul the multi-trillion-dollar municipal bond market.

The ethereum-focused VC and technology company said it had completed the purchase of the Philadelphia-based Heritage Financial Systems, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The acquisition gives ConsenSys advisory and broker-dealer capabilities in the U.S., allowing it to offer newly tokenized municipal bonds through its ethereum-based operating system, Codefi.

Local governments in the U.S. have issued municipal (“muni’) bonds to finance public projects since the beginning of the 19th century. Worth nearly $4 trillion in Q3 2018, investors continue to place billions of dollars every year in municipal bonds. Net flows smashed records in 2019 when they exceeded $90 billion, according to a BlackRock report.

But although highly popular investments, muni bond trades frequently succumb to clerical errors; late repayments are common. Because authorities rarely issue debt in denominations smaller than $5,000, the secondary market for municipal bonds is relatively small and inactive.

ConsenSys believes distributed ledgers can disrupt the muni market by automating repayments and track obligations and bond transfers on the secondary market, while a smart-contract layer could also replace much of the legal contract work that presently has to be done manually by banks.

Blockchain could also help local governments issue municipal bonds in smaller denominations. Speaking to Bloomberg, ConsenSys’ global fintech co-head, Patrick Berarducci, said the technology might encourage residents in the local community to purchase debt, instead of large financial institutions.

Agreement terms and ConsenSys’ purchase price for the Heritage Financial acquisition have not been disclosed. The acquisition comes in the same week ConsenSys announced a 14 percent cut in staff numbers in order to refocus the company on its main infrastructure platforms, which include Infura, PegaSys, MetaMask and Codefi.

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