A message from Coinbase CEO and Cofounder, Brian Armstrong

A message from Coinbase CEO and Cofounder, Brian Armstrong

By Brian Armstrong, CEO and Cofounder

Earlier at this time, I shared the next word with all Coinbase staff.


Today I’m making the tough resolution to scale back the dimensions of our workforce by about 18%, to make sure we keep wholesome throughout this financial downturn. I wish to stroll you thru why I’m making this resolution under, however first I wish to begin by taking accountability for a way we obtained right here. I’m the CEO, and the buck stops with me.

What has modified?

Over the previous month, I’ve had many conversations with our Exec workforce and our Board to debate latest market occasions in addition to the state of our enterprise. Several realities have grow to be clear to me in these discussions:

  • Economic circumstances are altering quickly: We seem like coming into a recession after a ten+ yr financial increase. A recession may result in one other crypto winter, and will final for an prolonged interval. In previous crypto winters, buying and selling income (our largest income supply) has declined considerably. While it’s exhausting to foretell the economic system or the markets, we all the time plan for the worst so we are able to function the enterprise by way of any surroundings.
  • Managing our prices is crucial in down markets: Coinbase has survived by way of 4 main crypto winters, and we’ve created long run success by fastidiously managing our spending by way of each down interval. Down markets are difficult to navigate and require a unique mindset.
  • We grew too rapidly: At the start of 2021, we had 1,250 staff. At the time, we had been within the early innings of the bull run and adoption of crypto merchandise was exploding. There had been new use instances enabled by crypto getting traction virtually each week. We noticed the alternatives however we would have liked to massively scale our workforce to be positioned to compete in a broad array of bets. It’s difficult to develop at simply the appropriate tempo given the size of our development (~200% y/y because the starting of 2021). While we tried our greatest to get this good, on this case it’s now clear to me that we over-hired.

What resolution was reached?

  1. The have to handle bills: As we function on this extremely unsure interval on the planet, we wish to guarantee we are able to efficiently navigate a protracted downturn. Our workforce has grown in a short time (>4x prior to now 18 months) and our worker prices are too excessive to successfully handle this unsure market. The actions we’re taking at this time will permit us to extra confidently handle by way of this era even whether it is severely extended.
  2. The want to extend effectivity: We have now exceeded the restrict of what number of new staff we are able to combine whereas rising our productiveness. For the previous few months, including new staff has made us much less environment friendly, no more. We have seen ourselves decelerate significantly as a result of coordination headwinds, and issue totally integrating new workforce members. We consider the focused resourcing modifications we’re making at this time will permit our group to grow to be extra environment friendly.

Both of those come again to my resolution to considerably scale our workforce over the previous two years, so this accountability rests totally with me.

Who is affected?

Our senior leaders have labored diligently to establish the suitable modifications for every of their groups based mostly on our clarified priorities.

In the subsequent hour each worker will obtain an e-mail from HR informing in case you are affected or unaffected by this layoff. Every affected worker will obtain an invite to have a direct dialog along with your HRBP and the senior chief of your group.

If you might be affected, you’ll obtain this notification in your private e-mail, as a result of we made the choice to chop entry to Coinbase methods for affected staff. I understand that removing of entry will really feel sudden and sudden, and this isn’t the expertise I needed for you. Given the variety of staff who’ve entry to delicate buyer data, it was sadly the one sensible selection, to make sure not even a single individual made a rash resolution that harmed the enterprise or themselves.

I additionally needed to be sure that all affected staff are taken care of on this transition, and that we assist them find a brand new function. Employees who’re departing at this time will obtain:

  1. Minimum of 14 weeks of severance plus an extra 2 weeks for yearly of employment past 1 yr
  2. 4 months of COBRA medical insurance within the US, and 4 months of psychological well being assist globally
  3. Access to Talent Hub, the place members of Coinbase’s workforce will work to attach with you with open positions at different companies (together with portfolio firms from Coinbase Ventures and different prime crypto VC funds)

Coinbase staff are among the many most proficient on the planet, and I’m sure that the abilities you all possess will proceed to be wanted by firms all over the world. I understand it could take longer on this surroundings to search out new employment, and so my hope is that this monetary and non-financial help helps make this sudden transition for you as seamless as potential.

How will we transfer ahead?

To our colleagues who’re departing, I wish to say thanks for giving all the pieces to this firm, and that I’m sorry. I hope that as we develop once more we get an opportunity to rent you again. We wouldn’t be the place we’re at this time with out your exhausting work and dedication to our mission. I’m extremely grateful for all the pieces you will have executed to contribute to our success.

To our workforce that’s staying, I do know this can be a tough day for you all too. You will say goodbye to your colleagues that you simply’ve been within the trenches with. I additionally anticipate you’ll all really feel some degree of concern, uncertainty and doubt in regards to the future. Know that we made these exhausting choices to make sure our future is brilliant. We’ll share extra on how we rally as a workforce within the subsequent few days. Right now, allow us to thank all our colleagues who’re departing for the essential contribution they’ve made to our mission.



This weblog put up incorporates ahead wanting statements. These ahead wanting statements are solely predictions and will differ materially from precise outcomes as a result of quite a lot of elements. The dangers and uncertainties that might trigger precise outcomes to vary from the outcomes predicted are extra totally detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any ahead wanting statements contained herein are based mostly on assumptions that we consider to be affordable as of the date of this weblog put up. We undertake no obligation to replace these statements on account of new data or future occasions.

A message from Coinbase CEO and Cofounder, Brian Armstrong was initially revealed in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, the place individuals are persevering with the dialog by highlighting and responding to this story.

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