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Binance, Kraken, FTX Go on Hiring Spree as Rest of Crypto Crumbles

Some companies are waiting right by the sidelines to scoop up any hot crypto talent newly looking for a job.

The ongoing fallout in an increasingly tumultuous cryptocurrency sector is affecting players in different ways.

While the crypto market itself has dropped below $1 trillion in value, major exchanges and coins like terra and Celsius have faced substantial drops in both investor confidence and valuation.

Celsius drew even more alarm on June 14 when it stopped allowing customers to make withdrawals from the platform.

The move triggered a wider market selloff and brought out crypto bulls, who pointed to sweeping layoffs throughout the crypto universe.

The price of bitcoin hit $20,289 on June 15, an 18-month low. That dip followed weeks of news of crypto hemorrhaging both value and jobs.

"This week, the second-largest crypto exchange Coinbase laid off 1,100 workers after rescinding offers and freezing hiring. Crypto.com let go 5% of its workforce," Forbes reported. 

"Last week, the billionaire twin brothers, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, announced their exchange Gemini would be firing 10% of its employees."

Still, while some big names began letting people go, other market actors have seen their businesses boom. And they were waiting right by the sidelines to scoop up any hot crypto talent newly looking for a job.

CEO of Binance, the World's Biggest Cryptocurrency Exchange, Talks to TheStreet

Shopping Sprees Begin

To kick off the race for talent, the currently largest crypto exchange, Binance, announced that it was hiring for 2,000 new positions.

The company's Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao, who goes by "CZ," was quick to taunt competitors who were losing people instead of hiring them.

He tweeted that while Binance wasn't making flashy moves like Super Bowl ads earlier this year, it was shoring itself up for growth later in 2022.

The move from Binance was immediately puzzling for crypto watchers because CZ has seen his personal net wealth shrink by more than $80 billion since January, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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CZ lost $10.7 million just during the market's trading session on June 14.

Two other big names in crypto also said they were stepping up hiring efforts on June 15.

The fourth-largest exchange, Kraken, issued a statement saying it was looking forward to hiring more than 500 people in the rest of 2022.

“What does it all mean? It’s time to get back to building! We’ve got 500+ roles still left to fill this year. Bear markets are the best for recruiting talent that is both aligned with our culture and our mission,” the San Francisco-based company said.

Both announcements joined news that FTX, an exchange which did have a big, flashy Super Bowl ad, was also looking to snap up some new crypto talent.

So What Now?

In the meantime, market watchers who are following crypto's currently rocky course have been quick to caution that the sector will likely look a lot different when the dust settles.

That means that weaker companies may disappear entirely, as investors gravitate toward ones that can prove they are stable, dependable and growing.

“The fundamentals to support stabilization and recovery just aren’t there,” Steven McClurg, co-founder and CIO at crypto fund manager Valkyrie Investments, told Bloomberg. 

“Things can and likely will get worse before they get better,” he said. 

The ones that say they are in good shape see this choppy stretch as a chance to add to already-competitive rosters, Binance co-founder Yi He told Fortune.

“We currently have more than 2,000 roles open from engineers, product, marketing to business development," Yi said.

"The crypto space is still in its early stages, and bull markets tend to care more about price while bear markets have more value-conscious teams that continue to build the industry," he said. 

"We see this as a great time to bring on top talent."