Kraken Lays Off Over 1,000 People as Crypto Winter Wears On

Departing Kraken CEO Jesse Powell is taking 30% of the company with him.

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Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has announced that around 30% of the company’s staff will be laid off as a direct result of the ongoing crypto winter, a bear market that has claimed major companies and thousands of jobs across the globe.

Powell noted in a Kraken blog post that “This reduction takes our team size back to where it was only 12 months ago” and described the move as necessary because “negative influences on the financial markets have continued and we have exhausted preferable options for bringing costs in line with demand.”

CoinGecko lists Kraken as the fifth-largest crypto exchange by volume, with a 24-hour volume of over half a billion dollars.

The 11-year old crypto exchange offered 16 weeks of pay to staff who were laid off, as well as an extension of a window to exercise vested stock options and immigration support for those who need it.

Powell, the co-founder of Kraken who recently announced that he would be leaving the role of CEO, gained a reputation within the crypto industry as a pugnacious but caring employer who believed strongly in the original philosophical tenets of cryptocurrency.

“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,” he said.

Kraken previously announced in June 2022 that “We have not adjusted our hiring plan, and we do not intend to make any layoffs.” In a passionate Twitter thread on November 10, following the FTX meltdown, Powell said “I pray that we don’t lose our people, like we did in the wake of Gox.”

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Blockworks has reached out to Kraken for comment.


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