The Humiliation of Coinbase – The New York Times

The bloat was especially bad in Coinbase’s customer support team. New staff members often felt like they didn’t have enough to do. “I got maybe four phone calls a day for a while,” said David Visini, a customer service employee who was fired. “He was dead, dead, dead.”

Ms. Choi, COO, acknowledged that Coinbase had “over-hired” during the pandemic, saying it was difficult to integrate new recruits in a remote environment.

“I don’t know if we had exactly the right set of tools to set them up for success,” he said.

The crypto market crashed in May, causing Coinbase’s share price to drop around 60 percent. In the first quarter, Coinbase’s revenue fell 27 percent from a year earlier to $1.17 billion, even as its expenses more than doubled to $1.72 billion.

Its competitors seem to be doing better. Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, said in an email that its financial results had been “similar to last year, when the company posted earnings of approximately $350 million. Binance, the world’s largest exchange, declined to disclose revenue figures. But in June, the company’s founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, Announced he was hiring for 2,000 open positions.

That month, Coinbase employees circulated a petition demanding the removal of several top executives. Mr. Armstrong responded aggressively in Twitter, asking disgruntled employees to resign. But at a staff meeting, he and other executives struck a more conciliatory note, saying that employees should have faith in cryptocurrencies and that the company would emerge stronger from the tumult, according to two people who attended.

A few days later, the company laid off 1,100 employees.

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