Coinbase Layoffs Extends to Southeast Asia Operations

Laid-off Coinbase employees will get a minimum of 14 weeks of severance, and an additional two weeks for every year of employment.

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With the upcoming “crypto winter,” cryptocurrency companies have started laying off hundreds to more than a thousand employees. This includes Coinbase, one of the most recognizable crypto exchange companies in the world. The layoffs in the company extended to its Southeast Asia operations as well.

Some of the laid-off employees shared their mixed emotional sentiments through LinkedIn. There are some who expressed sadness and gratitude, and some expressed that they are now open to new work opportunities. 

One of the affected employees is Clinton Gleave, former Coinbase Recruitment Manager for the Asia Pacific. He worked for Coinbase for a year and seven months from December 2020. 

“Well, what a ride that was. After building our entire APAC expansion from scratch, even overperforming, I’ve been laid off from Coinbase and have 30 days to pick up my entire life and leave Singapore after 12 years in Asia.” –Clinton Gleave

In a post, he noted he knows that the “CEO didn’t make this decision lightly, and (he) has nothing but respect for Brian Armstrong, but that doesn’t change the impact.”

“I feel really lucky to have personally hired some 70+ people and the majority of our leaders in Asia (and part of growing APAC from zero to 600+!). True build from scratch opportunities like this are extremely rare,” Gleave shared.

Other employees also shared their reaction to the sudden layoff and officially opened themselves to job hunting.

Through a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Brian Armstrong, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, announced that the company will reduce its workforce by 18%, which totals to almost 1,100 people affected.

In a blog post, Armstrong disclosed that the decision was finalized after multiple conversations with his management team over the last month. According to him, the rapidly changing economic conditions that may lead to a “crypto winter”, as well as managing costs in down markets and the company growing “too quickly” were the primary reasons for the layoff.

Moreover, he mentioned that the company has “over-hired,” in its attempt to take advantage of “new use cases enabled by crypto getting traction practically every week.”

“There were new use cases enabled by crypto getting traction practically every week. We saw the opportunities but we needed to massively scale our team to be positioned to compete in a broad array of bets. It’s challenging to grow at just the right pace given the scale of our growth (~200% y/y since the beginning of 2021). While we tried our best to get this just right, in this case it is now clear to me that we over-hired.”

Brian Armstrong, CEO, Coinbase

Last February, Coinbase listed a job opening on LinkedIn in the search for a country director for the Philippines. (Read more: Coinbase is Hiring a Country Director for the Philippines)

The LinkedIn post is still available, and a rudimentary search suggests Coinbase still has a team in Southeast Asia and Manila.

“If you are affected, you will receive this notification in your personal email, because we made the decision to cut access to Coinbase systems for affected employees. I realize that removal of access will feel sudden and unexpected, and this is not the experience I wanted for you,” Armstrong stated.

Laid-off employees will get a minimum of 14 weeks of severance, and an additional two weeks for every year of employment. U.S.-based affected employees, on the other hand, will get four months of health support, and global employees will get mental health support.

Armstrong addressed the affected employees to “stay healthy during this economic downturn.”

Also this month, Gemini laid off 10% (100 employees affected) of the workforce because the industry is in a “contraction phase” known as “crypto winter,” which has been “further compounded by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil.” (Read more: Gemini Will Cut 10% of Staff Because of Bear Market)

Cryptocurrency platforms, BlockFi and Crypto.com also reduced their workforce amid the crypto meltdown. BlockFi, a platform for trading and lending cryptocurrency, announced via a blog post that it laid off 20% of its 850 employees — around 170 to 200 people. 

Crypto.com also laid off around 260 workers, or around 5 percent of its workforce, according to a Twitter thread from its CEO, Kris Marszalek.

This article is published on BitPinas: Coinbase Layoffs Extends to Southeast Asia Operations

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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