March 21, 2023

Coinbase, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily volume, through its CEO, Brian Armstrong, officially announced on Tuesday that it has made a decision to reduce the size of the Coinbase team by about 18%, representing 1,100 employees, due to a potential economic recession.

Armstrong stated, “We appear to be entering a recession after a 10+ year economic boom. A recession could lead to another crypto winter and could last for an extended period.” He added that the trading revenue significantly declined during the course of the year, noting that Coinbase has survived through four major crypto winters since its foundation in 2012.

Armstrong emphasized and admitted that the firm has been growing “too quickly,” with Coinbase’s headcount reaching 1,250 employees as of early 2021. According to the CEO, the team has grown four times in the past 18 months and their employee costs are “too high to effectively manage this uncertain market.”

What you should know

  • According to the announcement, all departing employees will receive support in finding a new role, including a minimum of 14 weeks of severance as well as an additional 2 weeks for every year of employment beyond 1 year.
  • Additional support includes four months of health insurance in the United States and four months of mental health support globally.
  • Coinbase’s massive layoff announcement came shortly after Armstrong took to Twitter on June 10 to criticize its employees for issuing a public petition to remove some senior Coinbase executives in a vote of no confidence.
  • The petition specifically calls to remove Chief Operating Officer, Emilie Choi, Chief Product Officer, Surojit Chatterjee as well as Chief People Officer, LJ Brock.
  • According to the petition’s authors, Coinbase’s executive team has been making decisions that were “not in the best interests of the company, its employees, and its shareholders.”
  • The petitioners also argued that those decisions led to results like the failure of the Coinbase NFT platform, toxic workplace culture, apathetic attitude from senior management and others.
  • Before now, Coinbase previously announced in May that it would slow down hiring and reassess its headcount in order to ensure it continues operating as planned.
  • In announcing a massive new layoff, Coinbase joins the growing list of firms that had to cut their staff amid the ongoing bear market, including Winklevoss brothers-founded Gemini, crypto-friendly trading platform Robinhood and the BlockFi trading platform, which said it was laying off 20% of its staff on Monday.
  • CEO, Kris Marszalek also took to Twitter on Saturday to announce that the Singapore-based exchange would lay off 260 workers or 5% of its workforce.

Despite some crypto companies increasingly reducing the size of their teams, others continue hunting for new talent. Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, is still hiring, having more than 2,000 roles open for engineers, product, marketing and business developers.

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1 thought on “Coinbase to lay off 1,100 employees

  1. Omo… If Coinbase lays off these people, it will not be funny ooo. The severance packages are good but finding a landing place that’s soft enough will be difficult. Over 1,000 staff is quite serious

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