24 February, 2024

Stakefish Laid off Employees on the Same Day as the Ethereum Merge

1 year ago

12 Dec, 2023

Stakefish, one of the largest validators in the crypto world, lost more than 25% of its workforce, including two senior departures: Head of Strategy and Operations Jun Soo Kim and Head of Protocols Daniel Hwang. Employees were either laid off or resigned.

According to CoinDesk, eight employees were laid off, and three more resigned from the company just as Stakefish was set to reap large rewards for securing Ethereum’s new after-merge network.

Workers were not informed of their termination from Stakefish until just a few days before their termination date, September 15 – the same day of the  Ethereum Merge, which dramatically increased the importance of validators like Stakefish in the blockchain ecosystem.

Stakefish had spent years laying the groundwork for the Merge, as that day marked the official transition of Ethereum from being run by miners to validators, which stand to benefit operators like Stakefish.

In exchange for rewards, the company allows customers to help secure proof-of-stake blockchains such as the recently remodeled Ethereum. Not just the Ethereum blockchain, Stakefish is a major validator in a variety of ecosystems, including Cosmos, Polkadot, Polygon, and Solana.

Chun Wang, the CEO and founder of Stakefish, says, “It is normal in a bear market to reduce team size and optimize costs.” Wang affirms that only non-tech positions have been laid off and that the company is still working hard to hire more developers and devops.

One of the major resignations Kim appears to have left to start his own business. Kim, whose resignation will take effect in October, was considered a possible replacement for Wang and served as a sort of interim CEO whenever the company’s founder was absent.

The firm offered some of the employees a two-week severance package, which disappointed the employees even more. As word of the layoffs spread, several employees took to Stakefish’s Slack messaging platform to express their frustrations about how information was disclosed to employees.

“Letting people know in a staggered fashion that they are to be fired with 2 days notice as if rumors and news like that does not travel sideways in a company is absolutely unbelievable.” one employee wrote.