Kraken lays off 30% of employees. Is this normal bear market behavior or implications of a future demise?

Kraken lays off 30% of employees. Is this normal bear market behavior or implications of a future demise?
LordBobTheWhale
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Jesse Powell, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, sits for a photograph at the company's San Francisco office in 2014.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kraken, one of the world's largest crypto exchanges, is laying off about 30% of its headcount, or 1,100 people, "in order to adapt to current market conditions," co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell said Wednesday.

Powell wrote in a blog post that slowing growth, prompted by "macroeconomic and geopolitical factors," had muted customer demand, lowered trading volumes and cut sign-ups.

"We had to grow fast, more than tripling our workforce in order to provide those clients with the quality and service they expect of us," Powell said. "This reduction takes our team size back to where it was only 12 months ago."

"I remain extremely bullish on crypto and Kraken," Powell added.

Crypto exchanges have been buffeted by withdrawals and regulatory scrutiny after the implosion of FTX. Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto empire filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 28 and has shed several hundred employees in the restructuring process.

Barry Silbert's Digital Currency Group laid off about 13% of its staff in November. Crypto.com laid off 2,000 employees in October.

Kraken said it will offer 16 weeks of compensation as severance and will extend the affected employees' exercise window.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Kraken announced it is laying off 1,100 workers. A previous headline gave an incorrect number.