Slimming down - Cartoon that illustrates the shift towards smaller teams at many of the leading blockchain companies. The news of CZ’s departure from Binance is a headline that attracted interest, but the number of layoffs across the industry has gathered pace in the last six months despite a general sentiment that a bull market is returning. In normal circumstances, we would expect blockchain protocols (e.g. Polygon, Solana, NEAR) to start hiring aggressively to position themselves for growth. What’s different this time is that industry leaders have realized that a large in-house team of support specialists have gotten in the way of building the decentralized future. For the industry to become truly decentralized, developers and early stage companies need to start to take on more responsibility, avoiding dependency on teams of marketers and business development specialists subsidized by the parent blockchain protocol. This trend can be seen by recent layoffs at Polkadot (30% cut of core staff at Parity) and Yuga Labs, where the CEO remarked, “we weren’t optimized to build and manage everything in-house.” While many companies continue to blame the crypto winter and regulatory uncertainty as requiring an operational reset, it is likely that when the bull market does return, many of the support functions are not coming back at many of the protocol companies.