Coinbase Extends Hiring Freeze Indefinitely, Stock Price Down 11% Today

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The official statement also reads that Coinbase will not hire backfill roles, except for critical positions related to “security and compliance.”

Key points

  • On Thursday, Coinbase announced that it will extend its hiring freeze for the foreseeable future and has rescinded job offers to some applicants who hadn’t yet started working for the company.
  • Coinbase is the largest U.S.-based crypto exchange and has been hit particularly hard by the recent downturn since a large percent of its revenue comes from crypto transaction fees.
  • It’s also reported that downloads of the Coinbase mobile app are down more than half in 2022 compared to the same time last year as crypto volatility spooks new investors from entering the space. 
  • Since launching, Coinbase NFT gross sales are less than $1.8 million averaging $42,000 per day, according to Dune Analytics. 

Yesterday, Coinbase issued a statement that it is extending its current hiring freeze indefinitely, noting that it has also rescinded an undisclosed number of job offers to individuals who had not yet started working for the company. The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States also noted in the announcement that it will not backfill roles that are currently open unless they deal with security and compliance.

“Two weeks ago, we paused hiring while we took time to reprioritize our hiring needs against our highest-priority business goals. As these discussions have evolved, it’s become evident that we need to take more stringent measures to slow our headcount growth. Adapting quickly and acting now will help us to successfully navigate this macro environment and emerge even stronger, enabling further healthy growth and innovation,” said Coinbase’s top personnel officer, L.J. Brock in the statement.

2022 has been bad for cryptos — putting pressure on Coinbase

So far this year, crypto markets are down more than $600 billion in valuation according to media reports. That loss has hit Coinbase particularly hard since a significant percentage of its revenue comes from transaction fees incurred by traders who buy and sell digital assets on its platform.

Further adding to the pressure for Coinbase are media reports that fewer new investors are using its mobile trading app as downloads for the software are off roughly 55% from the same time period last year. It’s reasonable to blame the highly-publicized crypto meltdown as a primary barrier keeping crypto-curious investors on the sidelines.

Months ago, Coinbase executives recognized the company’s overdependence on trading fees and sought to diversify into the popular and profitable NFT market, with lackluster results thus far. Since launching in April, Coinbase NFT gross sales are less than $1.8 million averaging $42,000 per day with about 4,300 users of that NFT platform, according to Dune Analytics. By comparison, the largest NFT portal — which is OpenSea — averaged $161 million per day in January 2022.

Is Coinbase a good buy?

At time of writing, Coinbase’s stock price was trading for pennies above $66.00, marking a loss of 11% from yesterday’s closing price of $73.82 according to Yahoo! Finance. As context, Coinbase had a launch listing price of $250 a share when it began trading under the COIN symbol on NASDAQ stock exchange last April. Within hours, its price per share soared as high as $429.54 before closing its first trading day at $328.28. 

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