Coinbase Lays Off Large Swath of Employees

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Roughly 18% of its full-time workforce were let go.

This morning, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sent a mass email out to his company informing everyone that, as stock and crypto prices slip and fears of recession grow, Coinbase needs to cut costs. This is why, as his email announced, the company laid off roughly 1,100 of its full-time workers, accounting for about 18% of its total workforce.

“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,” Armstrong said. “While it’s hard to predict the economy or the markets, we always plan for the worst so we can operate the business through any environment.”

Coinbase was originally planning on simply pausing hiring for an indeterminate period, but the worrisome performance of the market in recent days has necessitated more severe action in order to make ends meet.

“Our employee costs are too high to effectively manage this uncertain market,” Armstrong said. “While we tried our best to get this just right, in this case it is now clear to me that we over-hired.”

Laid off employees will be granted access to a curated talent hub, where they can receive assistance in finding new employment. Meanwhile, many remaining employees will have their focus redirected to more immediately-profitable ventures within the company.

“If there are any cuts to new product areas, it’s going to be more around experimental venture areas that we’re still very bullish on, but that we don’t want to invest in in this part of the cycle,” Coinbase President and chief operating officer Emilie Choi told CNBC.

“We will continue to invest in incredible innovative areas of crypto that we think are emerging over the longer term, but we’re probably going to do those in a more measured way in this type of an environment.”

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