Brazilian Crypto Unicorn 2TM Lays Off Over 80 Employees

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This article is adapted from CoinDesk Brasil, a partnership between CoinDesk and InfoMoney, one of Brazil’s leading financial news publications. Follow CoinDesk Brasil on Twitter.

2TM, the holding company for Mercado Bitcoin, Brazil’s largest crypto exchange by market valuation, laid off over 80 employees on Wednesday.

“The changing global financial landscape, rising interest rates and inflation have been having a major impact on technology-based companies,” 2TM said in a statement, without mentioning an exact number of layoffs, although it did publish a list with 86 profiles of fired employees, along with their contacts.

The company also said that “the scenario required adjustments that go beyond reducing operational expenses, making it necessary also to lay off part of our employees.”

According to its LinkedIn page, Mercado Bitcoin Market has more than 580 employees, while 2TM has more than 80.

2TM’s announcement comes a week after Latin American crypto exchange Bitso, Mercado Bitcoin’s main competitor in Brazil, laid off 80 employees citing “long-term business strategy” reasons.

Also last week, the Argentina-based cryptocurrency exchange Buenbit laid off 45% of its staff — 80 employees, approximately — due to the “global overhaul” of the tech industry, the company said.

2TM became the second crypto unicorn in Latin America after raising a total of $250 million in 2021 at a $2,2 billion valuation.

In January, it acquired a controlling stake in CriptoLoja, Portugal’s first regulated crypto exchange, while it planned to enter the Spanish-speaking part of Latin America through acquisitions in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, 2TM CEO Roberto Dagnoni told CoinDesk in June 2021.

In March, Mercado Bitcoin was in talks to be acquired by crypto exchange Coinbase Global (COIN), but negotiations failed, Bloomberg reported in May.