Coinbase Freezes Hiring and Will Rescind Accepted Job Offers

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In brief

  • Posting a $430M loss in Q1 2022, Coinbase will “take more stringent measures” in hiring.

On the same day that rival crypto exchange Gemini confirmed layoffs, Coinbase announced today that it will continue its hiring freeze amid a tumultuous recent market for both cryptocurrency and tech stocks. Furthermore, the firm will rescind some job offers for employees who had accepted positions but had not yet started working.

Coinbase first announced plans in May to slow hiring, but today’s blog post from L.J. Brock, Coinbase’s chief people officer, confirms that the company will take a more severe turn.

“As these discussions have evolved, it’s become evident that we need to take more stringent measures to slow our headcount growth,” Brock wrote. “Adapting quickly and acting now will help us to successfully navigate this macro environment and emerge even stronger, enabling further healthy growth and innovation.”

According to Brock, the freeze will include not only new, unfilled positions, but also backfilling existing empty roles in the company. There’s an exception for “roles that are necessary to meet the high standards we set for security and compliance, or to support other mission-critical work.”

Furthermore, Coinbase will pull some accepted offers for incoming employees who have yet to start.

Brock wrote that it is “not a decision we make lightly,” but that Coinbase sees it as “necessary to ensure we are only growing in the highest-priority areas.” The firm said that there will be limited exceptions and that all affected people will be notified today.

Brock added that the move is “not a reflection on the highly talented people we had extended job offers to,” and that the firm will offer severance to those with rescinded offers as well as help them find jobs elsewhere in the industry.

The announcement comes less than a month after Brock had promoted the fact that Coinbase was hiring.

In May, Coinbase posted a $430 million loss for Q1 2022 after missing analysts’ predictions on both profit and revenue for the quarter. Coinbase’s stock price is down more than 40% over the last month alone at a current price of under $74 per share.

“We always knew crypto would be volatile, but that volatility alongside larger economic factors may test the company, and us personally, in new ways,” Brock wrote today. “If we’re flexible and resilient, and remain focused on the long term, Coinbase will come out stronger on the other side.”

As mentioned, Gemini announced this morning that it will lay off 10% of its staff to prepare for a “crypto winter” ahead. In late April, crypto and stock trading app Robinhood laid off 9% of its staff as growth slowed. Crypto markets have seen extreme volatility in recent weeks, with the price of top crypto Bitcoin down 21% over the past 30 days.

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