Major blockchain developer ConsenSys announces job losses

LONDON (Reuters) - Major blockchain developer ConsenSys has laid off around 14% of its workforce, it said on Tuesday, a move that comes as companies around the world frantically search for applications for the much-hyped technology.

New York-based ConsenSys is one of the largest specialist blockchain developers to have emerged from the advent of the shared ledger technology, originally conceived as the basis of the bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Companies from banks and oil traders to retailers and tech vendors, drawn to its promise of making cumbersome processes more efficient and secure, have invested billions as they look to find uses for the technology. Many have turned to blockchain development startups in the process for technical expertise.

Yet there have so far there have been few major breakthroughs in the practical application of blockchain, despite the spate of tests and pilots.

The restructuring at ConsenSys will separate its software development business from its venture activities, the company said in a statement. ConsenSys focuses on the ethereum blockchain, which underpins the world’s No.2 cryptocurrency ethereum.

The cuts would allow it to “be better aligned with the needs of a focused software development company,” ConsenSys said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the company said the job losses would fall in roles across human resources, finance and marketing, with product teams unaffected. She declined to comment on the number of overall job losses.

In December 2018, ConsenSys cut around 13% of its workforce, which then totaled over 1000. The firm, which was founded in 2014 and operates in around 30 countries, with major offices in London, Dublin and Paris.

Editing by Philippa Fletcher