State Street Slashes DLT Developer Team as Bank Rethinks Blockchain Strategy
State Street, the global custodian bank, has taken a new direction with its blockchain strategy and cut scores of developer jobs in the process, people familiar with the situation said.
The focus is now more on digital assets such as tokenized stocks and bonds through to cryptocurrencies, rather than the heavy lifting work of re-plumbing front to back office with distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Because of various cost pressures weighing on the Boston-based bank, there has been a dramatic streamlining of the global
blockchain team in the past few weeks. A former State Street engineer, who wanted to remain nameless, said the cuts numbered over 100 blockchain developers.
A second person familiar with the situation said “most of the blockchain team had gone,” and that the number let go was “upwards of 100.” There are now “only a few
token people left” from the team, this person said, meaning “token” as in perfunctory, not in the crypto sense.
(All told, State Street has 39,407 employees worldwide, according to its latest quarterly filing with the Securities and
“They are moving away from this giant in-house DLT initiative,” the source said of State Street. “They are more focused on digital assets, stablecoins, custody, and the USC initiative [the Utility Settlement Coin being developed by bank consortium Fnality].”
Ralph Achkar, managing director of digital products at State Street in London, acknowledged that it had “streamlined some of the people in those teams,” declining to give exact numbers of those let go.
But that streamlining should not be taken to mean “we are not focused on distributed ledger,” he said. “That is absolutely not the case.”