Kraken announced on Wednesday that the crypto exchange is laying off 30% of its workforce, about 1,100 employees, as a cost-cutting measure amid Crypto Winter.
CEO Jesse Powell wrote in a Wednesday letter that macroeconomic and geopolitical factors have lowered trading volumes and client sign-ups. Powell noted that the company recently tripled in size, and that it had exhausted other options for cost-cutting.
“This reduction takes our team size back to where it was only 12 months ago,” Powell wrote.
The company will offer departing employees 16 weeks of base pay and of health care coverage, among other benefits.
Kraken held off on announcing layoffs longer than most of its peers. Earlier this year, Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based exchange, cut its workforce by 18%, about 1,100 jobs, while Gemini cut 10%, and recently bankrupt crypto lender BlockFi cut 20%. Crypto exchange Crypto.com publicly laid off 260 employees in June, but quietly laid off hundreds more over the following months, according to the Verge.
While many crypto exchanges rapidly expanded hiring over the past few years, Sam Bankman-Fried’s now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX prided itself on keeping a relatively small staff of around 300.
“[W]hen it comes to hypergrowth, you can’t replace ‘growing revenue’ with ‘growing expenses,’” SBF tweeted in June.
When the FTX house of cards came crashing down earlier this month, that slim team of 300 employees found themselves looking for new jobs—and possibly lawyers.
Kraken’s Powell, who announced in September he would be stepping down as CEO, said despite the layoffs, he remains “extremely bullish on crypto and Kraken.”
“I’m confident the steps we are taking today will ensure we can continue to deliver on our mission,” Powell wrote, “which the world needs now more than ever before.”
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