Kraken cuts 30% of staff to 'weather crypto winter'

Quick Take

  • Crypto exchange Kraken announced it was cutting 1,100 staff or 30% of its workforce.
  • Co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell, who announced plans to step down in September, announced the layoffs

Kraken's the latest crypto firm to announce mass layoffs.

"We’re reducing our global workforce by approximately 1,100 people, or 30 percent, in order to adapt to current market conditions," co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell said in a blog post. Powell previously announced he would be stepping step down in September.  

In June, Kraken had announced it had no plans to adjust its hiring goals. The firm said at the time in a blog post, “We do not intend to make any layoffs. We have over 500 roles to fill during the remainder of the year and believe bear markets are fantastic at weeding out the applicants chasing hype from the true believers in our mission.” 

Powell's post from earlier today notes macroeconomic and geopolitical factors have weighed on financial markets since the beginning of this year.  

"This resulted in significantly lower trading volumes and fewer client sign-ups," he said. Crypto exchange volumes have fallen to $659 billion this month from $841 billion in January of this year, according to The Block's data.

The post goes on to say Kraken responded by slowing hiring efforts and avoiding large marketing commitments.  

"Unfortunately, negative influences on the financial markets have continued and we have exhausted preferable options for bringing costs in line with demand," he said. 

While today's announcement contradicts the firm's earlier note, the landscape has changed considerably since June. The downturn has been exacerbated by bankruptcies as the crypto credit crisis persists. Layoffs have mounted across crypto firms, including Dapper Labs and BitMex. 

Coinbase kicked off layoffs in June at the beginning of the crypto downturn when it also cut around 1,100 employees, at the time about 18% of its workforce.  

CEO Brain Armstrong said the decision was made to ensure the firm stays healthy during the economic downturn. The company grew too quickly and had “overhired.” Coinbase continues to lay off staff where necessary, cutting 60 employees in November. 

 


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