Coinbase Lays Off Another 20% of Employees

Coinbase, the cryptocurrency trading platform, said on Tuesday that it would lay off about 20 percent of its employees, its latest move to cut costs as crypto markets decline and tech companies lower their expectations for growth.

The company is laying off about 950 people, it said in a memo to staff, which comes after it cut around 1,100 employees in June, also about a fifth of its work force at the time.

Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s chief executive, said in the memo that “in hindsight, we could have cut further” in the layoffs announced last year. He also implied that the collapse of FTX, which generated turmoil throughout the crypto industry, was having an impact on Coinbase.

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

The downturn in crypto has put pressure on companies like Coinbase, which went public in 2021 and expanded rapidly during the pandemic. The price of Bitcoin has fallen more than 70 percent from its 2021 peak.

A number of technology companies, including Amazon, Meta and Salesforce, have recently announced layoffs, with many — like Coinbase — saying that they hired too aggressively during a burst of activity in the earlier stages of the pandemic. Higher interest rates, stubborn inflation and other factors that slowed the economy since then have forced many executives to rethink their plans.

Coinbase said its latest cuts were part of a plan to reduce costs by 25 percent this quarter. The layoffs would cost between $149 million and $163 million, Coinbase said. The company is offering employees who were laid off at least 14 weeks of base pay, health insurance and assistance finding a next job.

Still, Mr. Armstrong said some of the recent developments in the crypto world, including the fall of what he described as “a large competitor,” could “end up benefiting Coinbase greatly.”

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