Protocol Labs, Creator of Filecoin, Confirms Layoffs in Response to Crypto Winter and Economic Downturn

lay offs
Written by Joy Rice

Juan Benet, CEO of Protocol Labs, released a blog post on Friday informing that 21% of the company’s employees will be facing layoffs. Protocol Labs is the company behind the Filecoin blockchain network. In the blog post, Benet highlighted the difficulties faced globally due to the economic downturn and especially in the cryptocurrency industry.

Protocol Labs, the creator of the Filecoin file storage blockchain network, has declared that it will be reducing its workforce. On February 3, the company made the announcement. CEO Juan Benet published a blog post titled “Focusing Our Strategy to Weather Crypto Winter” to justify the layoffs. He stated that the crypto industry has been heavily impacted by the current “extremely challenging economic downturn.”

According to Benet, the broader economic conditions have exacerbated the difficulties faced by the cryptocurrency industry, making the situation more severe and prolonged than previously anticipated.

“Although we worked extremely hard to avoid this, we’ve made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce by 89 roles (approximately 21%),” the blog post details. “This impacts individuals across PLGO teams (PL Corp, PL Member Services, Network Goods, PL Outercore, and PL Starfleet). We’ve had to focus our headcount against the most impactful and business-critical efforts.”

Protocol Labs is now among the cryptocurrency businesses that have taken the decision to lay off employees amidst the current “crypto winter.” Other prominent players in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors, such as Candy Digital,, Opensea, Huobi, and Gemini, have also reduced their workforce.

The trend of layoffs in the industry started gaining momentum in the past year and has persisted into 2023. In his blog post on Friday, Benet acknowledged that the changes will be challenging for all employees and that the company will hold a “PLGO All Hands” meeting on Monday to address any outstanding questions.

The cryptocurrency FIL, native to the Filecoin network, is currently ranked 35th in the cryptocurrency market based on market capitalization. As of February 4, 2023, the market value of FIL was around $2.11 billion, with a 24-hour global trade volume of approximately $136 million.

FIL has shown significant growth, rising 65.7% against the USD in the past 30 days, outperforming leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Despite this increase, FIL is still 97% below its all-time high of $236 per coin, reached on April 1, 2021. As of 3:30 PM Eastern Time on February 4, 2023, FIL was trading at $5.59 per unit.

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