Digital asset brokerage Genesis said on Wednesday that CEO Michael Moro is stepping down and the firm is laying off 20% of its workforce.
According to a statement, Derar Islim, Genesis’ operating chief, will take over as interim chief executive operator while the crypto firm hunts for a permanent CEO.
Genesis is a unit of Digital Currency Group, the crypto investor and conglomerate founded by Barry Silbert. Genesis launched the first over-the-counter crypto trading desk in 2013 and then expanded to become a massive lender.
During the 2021 crypto boom, Genesis boosted its book dramatically. Loan originations soared more than sevenfold to $131 billion, and the firm raised the headcount by 22% to 170 employees. By mid-2022, that number had soared to 260. A cut of 20% represents a loss of about 52 jobs.
The rapid turn in the crypto market this year, which sent bitcoin and ethereum through mayhem, wiped out crypto-related firms. Hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, or 3AC, filed for bankruptcy, as did brokerage Voyager Digital and crypto lender Celsius Network.
“Genesis was not immune to the market drop and the damage to overall sentiment,” the company said in a report on second-quarter market observations. “As we’ve stated publicly, Genesis had loan exposure to Three Arrows Capital. Our parent company DCG assumed the liability related to losses on these loans, leaving our balance sheet healthy so Genesis could continue to be a source of strength for our clients.”
Moro, who joined Genesis in 2015 and took over as CEO the following year, will stay on during the leadership transition, Genesis said. The firm added it also recently hired new executives as chief risk officer, chief compliance officer and chief technology officer.