After reportedly spending $14 million on an advert for the Super Bowl only four short months ago, Coinbase is now set to lay off 1,100 employees, which will be about 18% of the current workforce. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, has blamed the need to lay off so many of the company’s staff on the changing economic conditions, claiming that these may lead to a ‘crypto winter’. This opinion has been included in an article posted on the Coinbase website, which also reveals that the company may have previously hired too many staff.
As a response to this, Coinbase employees have called for a change in the Coinbase executives and some have made their opinions public on Twitter. CEO Brian Armstrong has since responded to this petition in a tweet where he reveals he does not find this to be a good idea, and instead suggests that if there any any Coinbase employees who are not content with the proposed changes to quit their jobs.
This petition, run by Coinbase employees, cites multiple issues with the company and criticises them for advertising too many roles, which is said to go against the wisdom of the crypto industry. It appears evident that the plan to hire so many staff was not a sustainable plan for Coinbase, and is now leading to many employees potentially losing their jobs.
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In addition to the issues raised surrounding over-hiring, the petition also details how some projects, including the launch of the Coinbase NFT platform, have been over-prioritised. At the time the NFT platform was launched by the company, a considerable reduction in activity within the overall marketplace was also noted, meaning that the timing was considered far from ideal.
The reduction in the number of staff employed by Coinbase comes as the company started to rescind offers of employment which candidates had already accepted, causing panic for those who had turned down alternative opportunities or who had a visa which was dependent on full time employment. It has been reported that over 300 people received the news that Coinbase would no longer be looking to employ them, whilst executives of the company were reported to have netted over $1.2 billion in share sales in the last year.
With the decrease in the price of Bitcoin over the last three months, cryptocurrency firms such as Crypto.com, Gemini and BlockFi have also been reported to lay off staff, meaning that Coinbase is not the only company having to reduce the number of people employed. In the blog post on the Coinbase website, Brian Armstrong advised employees that each individual would be due to receive an email in which they would find out whether or not they would be able to keep their job. Those who were set to lose their jobs were told that they would receive 14 weeks of severance in addition to an extra two weeks for every year which they had worked for the company. They would also receive mental health support and those who lived in the US would also receive four months of free health insurance.