Coinbase to cut nearly 20% of workforce

This comes on the heels of the San Francisco-founded crypto firm rescinding job offers

Coinbase to cut nearly 20% of workforce

The hits keep coming at Coinbase, the San Francisco-founded cryptocurrency company that has since gone fully remote.

Coinbase – the biggest crypto exchange in the United States – has announced it will lay off 18% of its workforce due to the market’s downward spiral. Laid off employees will receive a minimum of 3.5 months of severance, plus two weeks for every year of employment, Bloomberg reported. At the dawn of 2022, Coinbase’s plan was to boost its staff by 2,000. According to its most recent earnings report, the company added 1,218 employees in the first quarter of 2022 alone, bringing its total headcount to 4,948.

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It’s simply the latest crypto firm to scale back on expansion and reduce its headcount. Rain, a large crypto exchange based in the Middle East, recently laid off dozens of employees, Fortune reported. Meanwhile, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins behind the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, also announced that they’re trimming 10% of staff.

However, Coinbase has made headlines over the past month for botching its talent management. In mid-May, the firm announced a hiring freeze as a result of the struggling crypto market. The company then sent an email to new hires the week of May 16, assuring them Coinbase wouldn’t rescind any job offers.

But earlier this month, the company reversed its policy. L.J Brock, chief people officer at Coinbase, announced on the company website that Coinbase will not only extend its hiring pause for the foreseeable future, but also rescind a number of accepted offers.

Coinbase sent a welcome email to new hires 2 weeks ago promising that they won't rescind offers (1st image).

Yesterday, they sent the rescind emails (2nd image) leaving candidates in frustration.

We have a referral thread going on to help those who were impacted 👇 pic.twitter.com/lIQe0ph4rk

— Blind (@TeamBlind) June 3, 2022

To help offset the financial impact of the decision, the company will be offering severance payments of either one- or two-months’ salary. Additionally, Coinbase is establishing a talent hub to allow new hires with rescinded offers to opt-in to receive additional support services, including job placement support, resume review, interview coaching and access to industry connections.

“This isn’t a decision we make lightly, but is necessary to ensure we are only growing in the highest-priority areas,” Brock said.

Coinbase’s abrupt 180 has left some prospective employees stuck in limbo, especially those whose previous employers won’t bring them back. At least two individuals set to be hired by Coinbase say they may lose their OPT (Optional Practical Training) Visa due to the rescinded offer, The Verge reported. OPT is a benefit available to international students in F-1 immigration status who are enrolled in or completing a degree program in the United States.

These cuts come in the midst of the Great Resignation, in which companies across the U.S. are experiencing historic turnover. Nearly 70 million Americans have quit their job over the past year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 4.4 million Americans quit their job in April, following similar amounts in March and February. The mass exodus is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted people to re-evaluate their priorities in life. Workers want higher salaries, better conditions, greater work/life balance and more opportunities to advance their career.

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