Late Thursday, the once-mighty cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which reported a 4,900% increase in profits in 2021, announced that it was pausing hiring “for the foreseeable future” because of the current market conditions. And while pausing hiring may be one thing, the company then decided to be the biggest of assholes, saying that it would rescind job offers from people who had already accepted them but had not yet started to work.
L.J. Brock, Coinbase’s chief people officer, explained in a blog post that “a number” of affected individuals would be informed via email that they no longer had a job waiting for them.
“This is not a decision we make lightly, but is necessary to ensure we are only growing in the highest-priority areas,” Brock said. He added: “Limited exceptions apply and will be managed by the same criteria as backfills.”
In the wake of the crash of the stablecoins Terra and Luna, crypto fans have learned to brace for impact when the markets open, with no clear end in sight. As the crypto market continues to tumble, though, the latest casualty isn’t a digital coin, but rather the human employees that run the companies supporting them.
Considering that Coinbase has implemented an extended hiring pause for backfills, it seems unlikely that many new hires, even backfilled positions, will be excepted from this new policy. The policy on backfills does not apply to roles related to security, compliance, and other critical work, Brock pointed out.
The Coinbase executive explained that the company takes “responsibility for the experience of those impacted” and that the decision was not a reflection of the talent of people it had offered jobs to. Brock said Coinbase would extend its “generous severance philosophy” to those impacted by the company’s decision to help offset the financial impact on individuals, but did not go into detail about what that philosophy entailed.
Gizmodo reached out to Coinbase on Friday to ask for more information about this philosophy as well as the number of people affected by its decision but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Coinbase will also offer the people it pulled job offers from access to a talent hub to help them find other jobs. The company’s newest updates on jobs and hiring come two weeks after it announced it was slowing hiring. At the beginning of the year, Coinbase originally planned to triple the size of the company. To date, it’s lost more than 70% of its value as crytocurrencies across the board have plunged, according to CNBC, so that’s obviously not going to happen.
Brock said that the company would continue to evaluate all of its options to “responsibly navigate Coinbase through the current cycle.”
“We always knew crypto would be volatile, but that volatility alongside larger economic factors may test the company, and us personally, in new ways,” the executive wrote. “If we’re flexible and resilient, and remain focused on the long term, Coinbase will come out stronger on the other side.”