SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is the latest crypto or tech firm to announce layoffs. In a company blog post published Wednesday, CEO Jesse Powell announced that the company would be laying off approximately 1,100 people, around 30% of its current workforce “in order to adapt to current market conditions.”
The reasoning behind the layoffs laid out by Powell had a familiar ring to it.
“Over the past few years, hundreds of millions of new users entered the crypto space and millions of new clients put their trust in Kraken during that time,” Powell said. “We had to grow fast, more than tripling our workforce in order to provide those clients with the quality and service they expect of us. This reduction takes our team size back to where it was only 12 months ago.”
Crypto and tech companies that scaled up to fast during the pandemic and have had to course correct has become a familiar refrain in the recent spate of tech layoffs. DoorDash, Facebook, Stripe and other companies have all cited similar reasoning for reducing staff recently.
Powell, who earlier this year shut down Kraken’s Market Street HQ and blamed former DA Chesa Boudin for SF being “unsafe,” also cited “macroeconomic and geopolitical factors” as reasons behind the layoffs. The tech industry, and the crypto sector in particular, have faced strong headwinds of late.
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The collapse earlier this month of crypto giant, FTX has had massive ramifications in the industry and beyond. A number of A-list sports stars, including the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry, reportedly had interests of one sort or another in the Sam Bankman-Fried-led exchange.
Founded in 2011, Kraken calls itself “one of the longest running global crypto exchanges.”
“We have successfully navigated many market cycles and our strategy has always included thoughtful cost management and spending,” Powell said. “These changes will allow us to sustain the business for the long-term while continuing to build world-class products and services in selective areas that add the most value for our clients.”
The CEO also laid out a severance package for “Krakenites” who’d lost their jobs that included:
- 16 weeks of pay
- Performance bonuses for those eligible
- 4 months of continued health care benefits
- Extension of exercise window for vested stock options
- Immigration support for those on company-sponsored visas
- Outplacement support to help laid off employees make their next move
Powell maintains that despite the current state of the cryptocurrency industry, he remains “extremely bullish on crypto and Kraken.”