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Coinbase Cuts 950 Jobs as CEO Warns of ‘Contagion’

Written by Annie GausPublished Jan. 10, 2023 • 10:10am
Monitors display Coinbase signage during the company's initial public offering at the Nasdaq market site April 14, 2021 in New York City. | Getty Images

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Coinbase, a major crypto exchange, is eliminating 950 jobs in the company’s second downsizing since June.

In a memo to employees, CEO Brian Armstrong pinned the cutbacks partly on a protracted downturn in the crypto industry—and fallout from bad actors in the industry, potentially a veiled reference to Sam Bankman-Fried’s now-disgraced crypto firm FTX.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sits for a portrait in their San Francisco headquarters. | Getty Images

“In 2022, the crypto market trended downwards along with the broader macroeconomy. We also saw the fallout from unscrupulous actors in the industry, and there could still be further contagion,” Armstrong wrote.

Coinbase is just the latest in a long parade of layoffs hitting the tech industry, with firms ranging from Salesforce to Amazon and Meta conducting major layoffs over the past few months.

Many of those tech companies blamed over-exuberance during the pandemic combined with a tech market downturn that triggered a need to cut expenses.

Other crypto firms, including Genesis, Gemini, Kraken, have also made cutbacks. Another, called Wyre, shut down entirely during a difficult period for fundraising in the crypto industry.

Since riding a wave of crypto enthusiasm to an April 2021 IPO, Coinbase’s share price has plummeted from $340 per share to about $40 as of this writing.

In June, Coinbase cut 18% of its workforce, with Armstrong citing a “crypto winter,” according to CNBC.

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Annie Gaus can be reached at [email protected]


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