Nigerian Crypto Startup Lazerpay to Shut Down Operations

Lazerpay, a Nigerian start-up that was established in October 2021 by Emmanuel Njoku, Abdulfatai Suleiman, and Prosper Ubi, has decided to discontinue operations since it is unable to get sufficient finance. Njoku announced the news on April 13 through a message that he posted on Twitter. In the statement, he expressed his thanks for the relationships that were created and the influence that Lazerpay had on the cryptocurrency ecosystem. He went on to highlight that the new company had worked very hard to keep the lights on, but unfortunately, they had reached a point where they needed to close its doors.

This announcement comes only a few short months after Lazerpay announced layoffs in November 2022. Those layoffs were also ascribed to the startup’s failure to secure money after the withdrawal of a main investor. According to Njoku, despite the obstacle, Lazerpay has already onboarded more than 3,000 firms and handled more than one million dollars in transactions.

Lazerpay has urged that merchants take their cash from the platform before the deadline of April 30, 2023, utilizing the bank or cryptocurrency payment options. This will enable a smooth transition for Lazerpay’s customers. The company has declared that it will refocus its efforts on fixing any unresolved concerns. In addition, the company is in the process of soliciting proposals from other businesses interested in purchasing its intellectual property.

Lazerpay was developed to encourage widespread use of cryptocurrencies and to assist companies in accepting stablecoin payments from clients located all over the globe. The failure of the venture to get sufficient finance ultimately resulted in the company’s demise, which represents a big loss for the African cryptocurrency market.

The closure of Lazerpay is the most recent event in a string of disruptions that have occurred in the African cryptocurrency market. Paxful, a peer-to-peer marketplace for Bitcoin transactions, also announced last week that it would be closing its doors. Notwithstanding this, a few crypto payment firms on the continent, such as NairaEx, which is a functioning Bitcoin exchange in Nigeria, are nevertheless doing rather well.

Despite the fact that Lazerpay has shut down, Njoku and the other co-founders of the company continue to have a positive outlook on the future of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria and Africa. They have expressed their conviction that the African continent has a significant amount of untapped potential for innovation and development in the cryptocurrency industry.


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Crypto Bank Anchorage Cuts 20% of Workforce

Anchorage Digital, a crypto bank that received a national trust bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in January 2021, has announced that it will lay off 75 employees, or approximately 20% of its workforce. The company cited regulatory uncertainty in the United States, as well as macroeconomic challenges and crypto market volatility, as reasons for the layoffs. Despite these challenges, Anchorage expressed continued confidence in the digital asset landscape and its ability to build regulated solutions for digital asset holders.

Anchorage’s decision to cut staff comes at a time when the U.S. banking system is facing significant challenges. Three regional banks, Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Bank, and Signature Bank, have gone under since March 8, prompting the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to guarantee all customer deposits for SVB and Signature, despite its standard threshold for guarantees being $250,000. It is unclear if these developments contributed to Anchorage’s decision to lay off staff.

The crypto industry has seen a slowdown in layoffs since the beginning of the year. In January, crypto firms such as Coinbase and cut nearly 3,000 positions, while February saw a more muted 570 layoffs. Despite the challenges facing the industry, many firms remain optimistic about the future of digital assets and blockchain technology.

Anchorage Digital was founded in 2017 by Diogo Monica and Nathan McCauley. The company provides custody services for institutional investors, allowing them to securely store their digital assets. In addition to its national trust bank charter, Anchorage has also received approval from the South Dakota Division of Banking to create a digital asset bank. The company’s investors include Blockchain Capital, Lux Capital, and Visa. Anchorage has raised over $137 million in funding to date.

While the layoffs at Anchorage are unfortunate for the affected employees, they may be necessary for the company to weather the current regulatory and market challenges. As the crypto industry continues to mature and attract more institutional investors, firms like Anchorage will play a critical role in providing secure and regulated custody services for digital assets.


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India’s WazirX Lays Off 40% Of Workforce, Triggered by Market Hardship

WazirX, a cryptocurrency platform based in India, has laid off several employees, a move that aims to make the exchange remain financially stable amid the ongoing market downturn. Three sources with knowledge disclosed the matter on Saturday.

According to the sources, WazirX laid off between 50 to 70 employees or 40% of the exchange’s workforce of 150 on Friday. The laid-off workers were told they would be paid for 45 days, they would not be required to report for work thereafter, and their access to work was blocked immediately.

One of the sources said the exchange cut the workforce from several departments including customer support, HR, and other departments. Managers, Analysts, and Associate Managers/Team leaders were among those who faced the axe.  

Another source who lost his job stated that the entire public policy and communication team was fired. Another WazirX employee who lost his job “abruptly” on Friday narrated that the firm was never transparent with its financial position, either when it was doing well or in distress.

According to CoinGecko data, WazirX daily trading volumes have been steadily dropping from a high of 478 million on October 28, 2021, to 1.5 million on October 1, 2022. On some days, trading volumes have been lower than a million, and “this is not enough to support operations,” the sources said.

In a statement on Saturday, WazirX said: “The crypto market has been in the grip of a bear market because of the current global economic slowdown. The Indian crypto industry has had its unique problems with respect to taxes, regulations, and banking access. This has led to a dramatic fall in volumes in all Indian crypto exchanges.”

The decline in trading volumes started shortly after India’s implementation of harsh crypto tax laws in July 2022. On July 1, India’s government issued a harsh new crypto tax, imposing a 1% levy on all cryptocurrency transactions. Since then, trading on the country’s crypto exchanges has crumbled. Trading volume on the Indian exchange WazirX was down 68% since the law took effect. On other popular exchanges in the country like CoinDCX and ZebPay, trading volume was also down 83% and 16%, respectively.

In recent days, WazirX has faced a series of problems that further led to a significant decline of its trading volumes. Early last month, WazirX was in hot water after Binance claimed that it does not own any equity in Zanmai Labs’, the entity operating WazirX.

Binance issued the statement hours after India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) had frozen WazirX’s bank accounts and raided its premises due to concerns implicating India’s exchange with money laundering issues.

As per data from CoinGecko, WazirX daily trading volumes dropped to less than 2 million after the ownership row and regulatory crackdown took place – from a high of daily trading volumes of around 5 million.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Hong Kong’s OSL and US-Based Abra Become the Latest Crypto Firms to Announce Layoffs

Abra, a California-based crypto trading and lending platform, and OSL, a licensed crypto exchange based in Hong Kong, are the latest in a string of crypto start-ups that have announced layoffs following the ongoing market turbulence.

Abra laid off 12 of its employees this week, and two sources familiar with the knowledge disclosed the matter.

Bill Barhydt, Abra CEO, confirmed the job cuts, stating that the company has cut 12 jobs purely as part of its cost-saving measures. The executive stated that layoffs translated to 5% of the workforce.

Barhydt said although Abra has trimmed certain jobs, the firm is still planning to hire more talents to fill various roles. While he did not mention specific job functions, he stated that an estimated 10 positions are currently open.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based digital asset trading platform, OSL, has slashed between 40 and 60 jobs, which is about 15% of its workforce, two individuals familiar with the source disclosed the development. The crypto exchange announced the job cuts on Wednesdays.

An OSL spokesperson confirmed the incident and said: “OSL has made the difficult decision to reduce headcount. This decision was not made lightly, and we understand the impact that this may have on employees.”

The OSL spokesperson further said the firm has adjusted its business model to renew its focus on SaaS and professional and institutional counterparts.

The spokesperson clarified that OSL made the layoffs not because it had any exposure to troubled crypto firms or tokens, including TerraUSD (UST) and staked ether (stETH).

“It is important to note that OSL has not had any exposure to stETH, luna or UST. Nor have we had exposure to any of the firms reportedly facing solvency issues,” the spokesperson said.

Abra and OSL have therefore joined several crypto firms that recently announced massive layoffs. Many crypto companies have laid off thousands of employees and frozen hiring amid challenging times for crypto and equity markets.

Last month saw more than 1,700 crypto job cuts in the crypto industry. Major crypto companies such as Gemini, Coinbase,, BlockFi, Mexico-based Bitso, Argentina’s Buenbit, and others, trimmed their workforces in June.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Bitoasis Layoffs 5% Workforce as Bear Market Concern Grows

United Arab Emirates-based cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis announced on Sunday that it has laid off nine employees as part of its cost-cutting plan.

Ola Doudin, the CEO of Middle East-focused crypto exchange BitOasis, commented: “Earlier this week, nine employees were made redundant across offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Amman.”

The firm stated that the job cut represented about 5% of the company’s workforce.

Founded in Dubai in 2015, BitOasis has continued to serve English and Arabic-speaking users in the Gulf region.

In 2021, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the UAE Central Bank approved BitOasis to operate a Multilateral Trading Facility at the Abu Dhabi Global Market – an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates – and was registered as a Virtual Asset Service Provider. The firm is the leading Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) by traded volume in the UAE.

In March this year, BitOasis obtained provisional approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority to operate its business.

BitOasis has become the latest firm in the sector to announce massive layoffs amid the ongoing downturn and market turmoil. In recent months, the job market has been rough, especially crypto firms have experienced many struggles to sail through a winter that has witnessed prices plunge drastically.

Overall economic inflation and staked Ethereum have contributed to the latest crash while lending platform Celsius Network pointed to have triggered the mess.

Last week on Monday, June 13, Bitcoin price dropped below $24,000, a harsh incident that prompted crypto firm Celsius to halt withdrawals and transfers. The woes facing Celsius contributed to more pain to a market that was already adversely affected after the collapse of the $60 billion stablecoin venture Terra. Celsius was an investor in Terra and was affected by the TerraUSD and Luna crash.

Last week saw a massive fall in crypto prices and fear among investors who started selling off their assets in masses.

The prices of major crypto like Bitcoin and Ethereum dropped by over 70% from their peak values. The total crypto market valuation plunged below $1 trillion, a massive drop from its peak valuation of over $3 trillion.

The recent crypto crash has led several firms to slash their payrolls, while a small few others are focusing on increasing their investments.

Last week, Coinbase announced that it was laying off 18% of its staff, which means the firm fired about 1,100 employees from full-time roles. Crypto firms like BlockFi, Robinhood,, and many others also recently announced significant layoffs.

The current job cuts envision another extended crypto dip and lead to fundamental shifts. A rebound could take several months or years.

Image source: Shutterstock


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