The crypto industry says it wants to transform traditional finance and its practices, yet it lags on one of the biggest legacy issues: transparency.
And one of the biggest players in the crypto sphere has just starkly shown that without transparency, the industry won’t gain the trust of the general public and investors.
Crypto.com had said in June that it would cut 260, or 5%, of its jobs as one effort to cut costs amid the cryptocurrency-price crash.
At the time, the crypto market had lost more than $2 trillion from its all-time high of $3 trillion reached last November amid investors’ cryptomania.
“That means making difficult and necessary decisions to ensure continued and sustainable growth for the long term by making targeted reductions of approximately 260 or 5% of our corporate workforce,” Crypto.com’s CEO, Kris Marszalek, tweeted on June 10.
To adapt to the new situation, crypto companies were all downsizing. From Coinbase (COIN) to Gemini, nearly every platform except Binance.com was cutting jobs, rescinding job offers already made to candidates, and freezing hiring.
The so-called crypto winter, that period of continuously falling digital-currency prices, and a liquidity crisis affecting prominent crypto lenders had continued until recently, when prices stabilized.
The platforms then seemed to have finished their housecleaning.
Much More Than We Thought
But now we learn that Crypto.com, whose best-known ambassador is the actor Matt Damon, has quietly carried out hundreds of additional job cuts.
According to Decrypt and The Verge, the platform has cut about 1,000 more jobs since then. During an all-hands with employees on Aug. 10, Marszalek reportedly announced additional job cuts but declined to specify the exact number, reported The Verge, which retrieved a recording of the meeting.
“Due to the lack of internal transparency, one can only estimate the extent of this layoff round: we increased our staff by ~50 percent since 2021, and almost all of them were hired to fuel growth. Now it seems these additional ~1,300 staff are viewed as costs to be reduced, in order to save the business,” a source told The Verge.
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“The business is cutting down to bare minimum to survive the likely long bear market — internal initiatives are about trying to save every penny,” an source told Decrypt.
‘We Have a Strong Balance Sheet’
Crypto.com has been pushing for mainstream crypto adoption through massive TV and social media ad campaigns with Damon.
Before the job cuts, about 45% of employees at Crypto.com were hired in 2020 and 2022.
Crypto.com confirmed to TheStreet that it has continued to downsize but did not give a figure. The company also insisted that its refusal to specify the extent of the cuts said nothing about its financial situation. Crypto.com claims to be in good financial health.
“We announced reductions in June and since that time we have optimized our workforce to align with current external economic headwinds,” a Crypto.com spokesperson told TheStreet in an emailed statement.
“We have a strong balance sheet and will continue to invest in product, engineering, and brand partnerships moving forward,” the spokesperson added.
Reviews on Glassdoor
Crypto.com, which is based in Singapore and claims 50 million users, is not a public company and need not publicly report its financial performance.
This situation surrounding the firm, which was founded in 2016, has given rise to speculation about its financial strength. This is particularly after prominent crypto lenders Celsius Network and Voyager Digital recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Former and current Crypto.com employees have criticized the lack of transparency in reviews left on Glassdoor.com.
“Lack of Transparency and Job Stability,” posted a “current” employee on July 10. “The company is hiding the fact that they’ve laid off more than 1,000 employees even though they officially announced laying off 260.”
“They’ve removed the company directory so we can’t see the numbers go down. Management has been silent about the issue and everyone is terrified that their job will be next. It’s not good for morale to see that 1/3 of the invitation list on your next meeting is disabled accounts,” the employee added.