Ex-Wall Street Employees Among Those Jilted by Coinbase

Staff from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo left the banks for roles at the cryptocurrency exchange


Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • More than 300 individuals are listed on Coinbase’s database of affected candidates
  • Former employees from tech giants including Amazon, Walmart, Facebook and Twitter also left their jobs

Former employees from some of Wall Street’s top banks quit their jobs to join Coinbase, but were left hanging after the cryptocurrency exchange rescinded a number of accepted job offers.

People with backgrounds in finance, marketing and customer experience from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock were affected by the company’s hiring pause announced on June 3, according to a talent directory posted on its website.

They’re among more than 300 other candidates that are listed on Coinbase’s “Talent Hub,” a database of individuals the company created to support those who lost their offers by connecting them to future employers.

According to the database, Coinbase was angling to boost its legal and compliance teams with hires from Robinhood and Gemini. Software engineers from Amazon, Flipkart, Walmart, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, GitHub, Netflix and Chewy are also on the list of rescinded offers.

Coinbase’s Chief People Officer LJ Brock said in a blog the decision to pause hires was influenced by a combination of cryptocurrency volatility and “larger economic factors.”

The firm faced backlash on social media for revoking offers from people who had already left previous roles, with one communications expert slamming what seemed like a “hire-first and strategize later” approach. But others in the industry downplayed the move, suggesting judicious use of resources is a thoughtful plan of action.

“Many companies are cautious of hiring at the moment, but this is not a bad thing,” Martin Škorjanc, chief executive at crypto exchange NiceHash, said.

“Most places saw massive rapid expansion in the last 18 months, so now it’s a logical time to consolidate and set up for further growth on the other side,” he added.

An ongoing crypto correlation with equities, in a downswing driven by macro forces such as accelerating monetary tightening around the world, seems to have snubbed out optimism and sparked frustration in the short term.

Alongside Coinbase, the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini exchange said it would slash 10% of its staff due to macroeconomic and geopolitical factors.  

“With uncertainty abound regarding when the market downturn may reverse, the natural prudence of operational decision-makers comes into play,” Jonathan Chen, head of operations at NFT-request platform Creaticles, said. “This can translate to staff downsizing and other cost-saving measures.”

Even so, some other companies in the industry are on a hiring spree. Layer-2 Ethereum startup Immutable told Blockworks it plans to raise its headcount to 400 this year and projects a runway of more than four years. Digital exchanges Kraken and FTX, DeFi lending protocol Maple and crypto fintech Liminal also have plans to up their workforce.

Coinbase did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Blockworks.

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