Kraken Lays Off 1,100 Citing Lower Crypto Trading Volume

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has laid off 1,100 employees in response to the current crypto winter. 

The reduction amounts to 30% of the firm’s global workforce and takes its staffing level back to where it was 12 months ago, according to a Wednesday (Nov. 30) post on Kraken’s blog. 

“Since the start of this year, macroeconomic and geopolitical factors have weighed on financial markets,” Kraken Co-Founder and CEO Jesse Powell said in the post. “This resulted in significantly lower trading volumes and fewer client sign-ups.” 

Kraken had tripled its workforce over the past few years as hundreds of millions of new users entered the crypto space. Powell said that when demand slowed, the company responded by slowing its hiring and dialing back on its marketing. 

“Unfortunately, negative influences on the financial markets have continued and we have exhausted preferable options for bringing costs in line with demand,” Powell said. 

Since its founding in 2011, Kraken has navigated market cycles via cost management. The layoffs will enable it to sustain the business and continue building products and services in selective areas, Powell said. 

“I’m confident the steps we are taking today will ensure we can continue to deliver on our mission which the world needs now more than ever before,” Powell said. “I remain extremely bullish on crypto and Kraken.” 

The announcement followed news of cutbacks at several other crypto exchanges. 

In early October, cut 30% to 40% of its staff and ended some brand partnerships. Most of the jobs eliminated were non-corporate, back office and support services tied to trade volumes. 

Coinbase announced 60 layoffs on Nov. 10 after making job cuts totaling 18% of its full-time workforce in June. The company said the November reductions were limited to its recruiting and institutional onboarding teams. 

Insolvent crypto exchange FTX, on the other hand, announced Tuesday (Nov. 29) that the company and 101 of its affiliated companies around the world would resume “ordinary course” payment of salary and benefits to its remaining employees, as well as certain non-U.S. contractors and service providers.