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Who’s firing and who’s hiring in crypto as winter looms

June 29, 2022, 10:20 AM UTC
Brian Armstrong, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinbase, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference on May 2, 2022 in Beverly Hills, Calif. After freezing its hiring process and rescinding job offers, Coinbase laid off 1,100 employees.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images

The crypto community has not had a unified response in dealing with the current bearish cycle, characterized by Terra’s collapse a month ago, the loss of critical price support levels among most cryptocurrencies and the fallout from the Celsius Network’s potential bankruptcy and Three Arrows Capital’s insolvency.

Some crypto firms were caught off guard by the increased risk arising from the carnage in the ecosystem, while other companies have been preparing for this moment to build.

One metric that illustrates how prepared crypto firms were to weather the turbulence is the number of job layoffs and openings.

Who’s cutting crypto jobs?

On one side, a group of crypto firms has significantly downsized its workforce. After freezing its hiring process and rescinding job offers, Coinbase laid off 1,100 employeesCrypto.com let go of 260 people, Gemini cut its workforce by roughly 100 people and BlockFi reduced the number of its employees by 170 individuals. Moreover, BitsoBuenbit and Mercado Bitcoin – major cryptocurrency exchange platforms based outside the U.S. – each laid off 80 people from their respective companies.

The mass layoffs not only demonstrate how some giants in the crypto space are not bulletproof and susceptible to large market changes, but also practiced irresponsible behavior in terms of not having enough funds on the runway to keep promises to their staffs during the bear market.

Massive layoffs are not unique to the crypto space though. NetflixCompass and Tesla are just three examples of noncrypto companies conducting massive layoffs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the U.S. sits at 3.6% as of May 2022, and yet the number of large companies downsizing highlights the growing rumors concerning an incoming recession. On June 14, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong said in a note shared with all Coinbase employees, “We appear to be entering a recession after a 10+ year economic boom. A recession could lead to another crypto winter, and could last for an extended period.”

Who’s hiring?

Despite mass layoffs by major players, there are companies that are hiring and even accelerating their hiring process.

Binance is looking to hire more than 2,000 people across Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said, “We will continue to grow our team as planned and see this moment in time as an opportunity to gain access to some of the industry’s best talent.”

Kraken is looking to add 500 staff members, ConsenSys is expanding its workforce with 125 open positions, and Polygon has over 100 job opportunities even amid crashing crypto markets. Chainlink LabsAave and Uniswap Labs combined have posted more than 80 jobs to their career pages as well.

Crypto companies looking to accelerate hiring showcases the different responses organizations have to the bear market. While there are some crypto firms that admitted to growing too fast in a way that was unsustainable in a turbulent market, others are increasing the amount of talent within their organization to better position themself in an environment where black swans exist.

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