Coinbase Soars After Plan to Slow Hiring in Crypto Market Downturn

  • Coinbase shares jumped Tuesday as the company said it plans to slow hiring. 
  • The crypto exchange said in a blog post it had planned to triple in size this year. 
  • The company said the change comes as it positions itself to succeed during and after the downturn in the crypto market. 

Coinbase shares jumped Tuesday after the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US said it’s pulling back the pace of hiring to strengthen its businesses during a slump in the $1.4 trillion crypto market. 

It’s “prudent to slow hiring and reassess our headcount needs against our highest-priority business goals,” Coinbase President Emilie Choi said in a blog post, referring to the company’s plan heading into this year to triple in size.

Stock in Coinbase rose as much as 14% to $70.03. Volume was heavy, with more than 10 million shares exchanged by early afternoon compared with average daily volume of 7.8 million shares. The move was cutting into the stock’s  fall of 76% year-to-date through Monday’s session.

Coinbase said it will focus on integrating new hires as it works to ensure it is best positioned to succeed during and after the current market downturn. Coinbase had expanded its employee base in a period of growth for the crypto market and the company, which itself went public in a highly anticipated IPO last year. 

The value of the cryptocurrency market has dropped this year to $1.4 trillion from $2.3 trillion in late December, largely weighed by a slide in the price of bitcoin. Bitcoin has lost more than 50% since hitting an all-time high of $69,044 in November, according to CoinGecko

Bitcoin has slid in tandem with the stock market in 2022, particularly high-growth tech stocks that were poster children for COVID era exuberance among investors. Equities this year have been battered by expectations of rate hikes by the

Federal Reserve

as it battles decades-high inflation. Once considered a hedge against rising prices, some analysts have noted the digital currency has been trading more like a risk asset.  

Choi said headcount growth is a key input to Coinbase’s financial model so slowing hiring and focusing on employee integration is an important action to undertake. Coinbase doesn’t expect the change to have any material impact on its expense outlook for the second quarter or for full-year 2022.

“Big picture: We know this is a confusing time and that market downturns can feel scary. But as we said at last week’s Town Hall, we plan for all market scenarios, and now we are starting to put some of those plans into practice,” Choi wrote. 


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