MoonPay

MoonPay, a crypto payments and non-fungible tokens(NFT) service provider, is hiring wile competitors are firing.

On Thursday is revealed it had hired a top former Coinbase executive, a move that seems almost impossible in the current crypto hiring trends following the market turmoil.

Asiff Hirji, a former Coinbase president and COO between 2017 and June 2019 according to his LinkedIn profile, will be joining as an advisor to the CEO following a spell as president of a blockchain fintech company Figure.

Other heavyweight executives joining the Florida-based crypto payments company include Akash Garg, a former VP of engineering at Block and CTO at Afterpay, as CTO; Jim Esposito, former head of operations at Block’s Cash App, as COO; Garrett McManus, previously head of artist development at Cash App, as head of marketing; and Abhay Mavalankar, former head of venture investments and M&A at Cisco Investments, as head of corporate development. 

Akash Garg posted on Twitter to confirm his new position at MoonPay saying “I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve joined Moonpay as CTO.” In a move to acknowledge Garg’s appointment, MoonPay retweeted his Tweet on July 15.

The former head of Web3.0 at the Creative Artist Agency, Tom Capone will be joining as the head of MoonPay studios – a new part of the company which will help to iterate and incubate ideas for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) drops. 

The founder and CEO of MoonPay, Ivan Soto Wright, in mid-March of 2021, stated’’ As we continue to build MoonPay, maintaining and managing our exponential growth in a sustainable manner will be key.’’

MoonPay launched in 2019 to increase crypto adoption and raised $555 million at a valuation of $3.4 billion just last year.

The company has spent the past few months building out a suite of NFT-related products in an attempt to simplify the process of introducing new users to Web3.0.

Recently MoonPay has moved to diversify its business model, which was originally centred on its fiat to crypto on-ramping API.

For example, in June, MoonPay added a feature that enabled users to buy NFT with credit cards, built out its white-glove NFT concierge services for celebrities and launched an NFT minting service aimed at brands and content creators.

The company has also launched a utility NFT minting service called HyperMint. It enables creators and brands to mint up to 100 million NFTs at once.

The move was part of efforts to bring to the fore its ambition of becoming the “Amazon for Web 3.0 Services for NFTs”, according to an April article by The Block.

“Crypto Winter” Casualties

The company’s hiring spree comes at a difficult time for the crypto market. The market slump has led to employees at many crypto companies being laid off in recent months.

Once high-flying companies such as Coinbase were forced to slash their workforce. Vauld, a Singapore-based crypto lending platform, slashed its workforce in June after halting customer withdrawals.

Voyager Digital, BlockFi, Abra Bitpanda and Crypto.com are among the many companies that are grappling with the tough market conditions by laying off staff.

Worse still a number of companies have failed. The most recent is Celsius, which had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York earlier this week. 

Voyager Digital filed has also filed for bankruptcy while  hedge fund Three Arrows Capital was declared insolvent by the British Virgin Islands.

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