A fresh headcount reduction is coming to crypto exchange Binance, which is reportedly planning to lay off 20% of its workforce in June. The job cuts come after the company said earlier this year it would not lay off any employees.
According to the exchange, the decision is not a downsizing but rather a resource reallocation. “As we prepare for the next major bull cycle, it has become clear that we need to focus on talent density across the organization to ensure we remain nimble and dynamic,” a spokesperson told Cointelegraph.
On Twitter, Binance’s chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann hinted the reorganization is meant to address growing regulatory pressures targeting the crypto space:
“Regulators in almost every major market are also working overtime to provide greater clarity for their expectations of the industry and the asset class more broadly, which is putting even more pressure on orgs to adapt or fall by the wayside.”
Also, according to Hillmann, a precise number of layoffs has yet to be determined. “Like previous exercises, this will be done after several teams (including HR, Risk, and Operations) finalize that talent density audit,” he continued.
At the time of writing, Binance’s career page shows 326 open positions spanning several departments and locations. During the latest bull market, Binance’s headcount grew from approximately 3,000 to nearly 8,000, with staff located across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
In March, a Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the company was seeking to fill over 500 roles by the end of June: “As of today, we are actively hiring for more than 500 roles with the goal of filling them by the end of H1 […] We are not planning any layoffs.” Moreover, in January Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the firm was planning for a hiring spree in 2023, increasing its headcount between 15% and 30%.
Crypto community members quickly reacted to the news, reviving Zhao’s previous tweets about crypto exchange layoffs.
Binance has been facing an unprecedented regulatory landscape. The U.S. arm of the crypto exchange was reportedly struggling to find a new bank partner to serve as a fiat on-ramp and off-ramp for clients after the closure of Silvergate and Signature Bank.
To keep its global status in this environment, the exchange has been acquiring locally regulated entities, including deals in Singapore, Thailand, and Japan most recently.