While several major crypto trading platforms are taking large-scale layoffs and hiring freezes, some of their rivals are rushing to reassure their staff and the public that they are sticking to their hiring plans despite the current market downturn.
San Francisco-based Kraken, the world’s fourth-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, said on Wednesday it has no intention of making layoffs and is going ahead with its original hiring plan. For the remainder of 2022, the company will fill more than 500 positions.
†[We] believe that bear markets are great at weeding out the candidates chasing the hype of the true believers in our mission,” the company wrote in a blog post.
This week, Coinbase, the world’s second-largest crypto exchange, announced that it will be cutting 18% of its workforce. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek said last weekend that the company cutting 260 or 5% of its workforce. Gemini, another major crypto exchange that also serves institutional investors, said it was letting 10% of its employees go in early June.
The wave of layoffs is happening amid massive crypto sell-offs that have hammered the value of popular tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana. Trading volumes are declining, which means lower earnings across all exchanges (read my colleague Alex’s explanation of what is causing the market crash).
That’s not it. The safety and risk of crypto-based financial products has been under discussion this week as Celsius Network, a major cryptocurrency lender that allows users to make deposits to earn interest and take out loans in crypto, has paused withdrawals this week, causing the price of his token drops. † Three Arrows Capital, one of the largest crypto hedge funds, is causing panic among customers as it faces possible bankruptcy, The Block reported.
The extent to which crypto firms adjust their recruitment trajectory depends in part on how aggressive their recruitment pace was when the market was rosier. Those who have been on a spree will inevitably have to trim the fat when things shrink.
Kraken isn’t alone in saying his hiring target isn’t affected by the current market turmoil. Binance.us, the US company associated with the world’s largest crypto exchange, told its employees it is “growing faster than ever, taking on more than 80 positions.” Binance itself fills 2,000 positions worldwide, the founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted Today.