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Second Layoff Round at Crypto.com Worse than June Cuts: Sources

16 Aug, 20223 min readRegulation
Second Layoff Round at Crypto.com Worse than June Cuts: Sources

In June, Singapore-based crypto exchange Crypto.com laid off 260 employees, or 5% of its workforce, citing the crypto bear market. Remaining employees were reportedly told at the time that those cuts were the end of the bloodletting.

“They lied,” a source inside Crypto.com now tells Decrypt. On a quarterly "all hands" call last Friday, the company informed employees of additional layoffs.

The source, a Crypto.com employee in a managerial role whose identity has been confirmed by Decrypt, spoke under condition of anonymity. Decrypt confirmed the layoffs with two other current employee sources.

The latest round of cuts has not been announced publicly. During the call, "leadership expressed they had no intention of going public,” the source says. “Top management is unlikely to do an announcement as, after the June layoffs, they claimed that everyone's job was safe, and that no more layoffs will happen.”

Due to the company's internal privacy practices, the employee could not provide the number of layoffs over the past month, nor the percentage of remaining employees affected. But the source says the size of this round of cuts "is much bigger than the first one."

According to the source, a number of factors are at play as cuts continue. The June layoffs targeted “elastic” staff like customer service and growth roles—employees less in demand as customer numbers and trading volume on the platform fell. This round, the source said, affected people "from critical products like exchange, app and wallet.”

The move looks a lot like what happened at rival crypto exchange Gemini, which also enacted a second set of layoffs in mid-July, after making headlines for announcing cutbacks on June 2.

A Crypto.com spokesperson did not confirm details, nor the number of layoffs beyond those announced in June, but provided a comment from CEO Kris Marszalek.

“We announced reductions in June, and since that time we have optimized our workforce to align with current external economic headwinds," Marszalek said. "We have a strong balance sheet and will continue to invest in product, engineering, and brand partnerships moving forward.”

In announcing its June cuts, Crypto.com had described its staff as "need-based" and said hiring would resume when conditions improved. Just yesterday, Crypto.com announced that it will be the first cryptocurrency exchange operating under Canada's new regulatory scheme.

Even so, cost cutting is becoming a top priority at Crypto.com.

“The business is cutting down to bare minimum to survive the likely long bear market—internal initiatives are about trying to save every penny,” the source said.

Prior to the cuts, about 45% of the entire Crypto.com employee base was hired between 2021 and 2022, the source said. “The massive hiring was intended for growth, and the majority of these—about 1,300 staff—are not needed anymore in the current context.”

Decrypt reviewed a dozen layoff posts from former Crypto.com employees posted publicly to LinkedIn in just the last week. Many used the same framing, citing “current market conditions” and describing their terminations as part of the June cuts.

Now similar posts are emerging on employer rating site Glassdoor, and appear to be more recent.

“The company is hiding the fact that they’ve laid off more than 1,000 employees even though they officially announced laying off 260,” wrote a self-described current Crypto.com employee on July 10. "They’ve removed the company directory so we can’t see the numbers go down. It’s not good for morale to see that 1/3 of the invitation list on your next meeting is disabled accounts."

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