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Coinbase CEO Says 'I Am Sorry' in Memo Laying Off Over 1,000 Employees

Amid economic turmoil, the company laid off 18% of its staff and extended a hiring pause.

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It's a brutal time for crypto, and with anticipation of a harsh "crypto winter," companies are doing what they can to minimize the damage.

The digital currency market has steadily tanked amid inflation and economic uncertainty — this week, bitcoin dipped to its lowest point since 2020. As the crypto space continues to face market obstacles, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong made the executive decision to cut staff by 18% to ensure that the company stays "healthy during this economic downturn" — and laying off over 1,000 of the approximate 3,700 employees in the process.

"I am the CEO, and the buck stops with me," Armstrong wrote in a message to staff.

Related: Can Coinbase Turn Things Around in 2022?

The memo names contributing factors to the massive layoffs, some in Armstrong's control (the mistake of overhiring and growing too quickly in 2021) and some out (changing economic conditions). Armstrong writes that the company needed to be more cautious about managing its funds to ensure it survives the "crypto winter."

"To our colleagues who are departing, I want to say thank you for giving everything to this company, and that I am sorry," he writes.

The affected Coinbase employees will receive 14 weeks of severance plus two additional weeks for every year of employment over a year, four months of health insurance, and access to Talent Hub, where members of Coinbase's team can connect individuals to open positions at other firms.

Related: Crypto Giant Begins Rescinding Offers Amid Hiring Freeze as Market Continues to Tumble

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