Kraken Crypto Exchange Cuts 30% of Workforce, Binance CEO Makes Indirect Tweet

Source: AdobeStock / photo_gonzo

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has announced a major job cut, laying off 30% of its workforce or 1,100 people. Meanwhile, Binance CEO CZ warned users in a now-deleted Tweet to beware of platforms that "have layoffs."

In a Wednesday blog post, Kraken co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell said they are laying off around 1,100 people in an attempt to "adapt to current market conditions." He claimed that the reduction brings the platform's team size back to where it was one year ago. 

Powell cited slowing growth that has been prompted by “macroeconomic and geopolitical factors” as the reason for poor performance. He noted that the recent market downturn has decreased customer demand, lowered trading volumes and cut sign-ups.

"We responded by slowing hiring efforts and avoiding large marketing commitments. Unfortunately, negative influences on the financial markets have continued and we have exhausted preferable options for bringing costs in line with demand."

Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the world’s largest and longest running crypto exchanges. It ranks 15th among centralized crypto platforms in terms of trading volume, according to data by CoinGecko, with over $440 million in volume over the past day. 

Almost all centralized crypto exchanges have been hit with a wave of withdrawals amid the collapse of FTX. In contrast, interest in decentralized alternatives has reached record levels, with decentralized exchanges seeing the highest trading volumes over the past couple of days. 

Binance CEO Hints At Kraken Problems

Meanwhile, Binance CEO CZ has indirectly hinted that Kraken might be facing issues as it has resorted to layoffs. "Beware of platforms that: 1, offer high APYs and/or 2. have layoffs," he said in a now-deleted tweet. "If you don't do risk management now, don't blame others for consequences later. 

In an attempt to reassure users, crypto exchanges have started to share their Proof of Reserves. According to data accumulated by Nic Carter, a partner at Castle Island Ventures and the cofounder of blockchain data aggregator Coinmetrics.io, five exchanges including Kraken, Bitmex, Coinfloor, Gate.io, and HBTC have completed their Proof of Reserves audits.

Skirmishes between crypto exchange behemoths have become more prevalent as of late. Just a couple of days earlier, CZ attacked Coinbase citing some inaccurate data. In a now-deleted tweet, CZ stirred up controversy around the Bitcoin holdings of Coinbase. 

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong replied to CZ at the time, “If you see FUD out there - remember, our financials are public (we're a publicly traded company),” with a link to Coinbase's Q3 shareholder letter.