SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco-based cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase announced Tuesday that it’s laying off about 950 people — roughly 20% of its staff — in the latest instance of the crypto industry facing continued headwinds in the wake of the FTX collapse. In a message posted on the company’s website announcing the layoffs, CEO Brian Armstrong even seemed to point the finger at FTX, citing “fallout from unscrupulous actors in the industry” along with downward trends in the crypto market and broader macroeconomy as being among the reasons for the downsizing.
“I’ve made the difficult decision to reduce our operating expense by about 25% Q/Q, which includes letting go of about 950 people,” Armstrong wrote. “All impacted team members will be informed by today.”
Armstrong said the layoffs were part of a broader effort to reduce the company’s operating expenses, adding that, “While it is always painful to part ways with our fellow colleagues, there was no way to reduce our expenses significantly enough, without considering changes to headcount.”
The company would also be shutting down several projects with “a lower probability of success,” according to Armstrong.
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Access to Coinbase systems has already been removed for the employees being cut, according to Armstrong. Team members who are out of a job will be getting a severance package that includes:
- a minimum of 14 weeks base pay
- two additional weeks per year worked
- health insurance and other benefits
The company would also be providing extra transition support for workers here on a work visa. “Those of you outside the US will receive similar support in line with the employment laws of your country,” Armstrong said.
Despite the downsizing, Armstrong said he remains “optimistic about our future and the future of crypto,” adding that “dark times also weed out bad companies.” The crypto industry has seen several recent setbacks following last year’s high-profile collapse of FTX and subsequent arrest of founder Sam Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas.
Coinbase is just the latest in a number of Bay Area-based crypto or tech firm to announce layoffs. In the latter half of 2022, Twitter, Facebook parent Meta Inc., and Kraken all laid off staff.