KuCoin denies mass layoffs, says cuts are part of ‘normal’ operations

Cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin has shut down rumors suggesting it was preparing to lay off 30% of its workforce — a figure that amounts to approximately 300 staff — in the coming weeks.

“We want to clarify that KuCoin has not initiated any alleged layoff plans,” a KuCoin spokesperson told Cointelegraph, adding that that any potential cuts are part of a broader plan to expand on the firm’s business development:

“As part of the company’s business development and semi-annual employee performance review, there might be some personnel adjustments as needed, which is a normal process in organizational development.”

Addressing the layoff rumors, Kucoin CEO Johnny Lyu said in a July 25 tweet that the crypto exchange is still operating smoothly. Lyu explained that any potential staff cuts would be part of a semi-annual employee performance evaluation, which he said is part of remaining “competitive and dynamic” in the fast-paced crypto sector.

The clarification from KuCoin appeared to be in response to a July 25 post by independent journalist Wu Blockchain, which claimed that KuCoin would soon lay off 30% of its workforce due to a strict KYC policy in the United States leading to a decline in the exchange’s profits.

However, Wu Blockchain later backtracked on the claims after Lyu confirmed the staff cuts were part of a normal performance appraisal.

KuCoin didn’t clarify the percentage of staff that would be cut and which positions would be most impacted.

According to KuCoin, the company currently employs around 1,000 staff worldwide, a figure Lyu claims is “steadily” increasing.

Related: KuCoin crypto exchange to introduce mandatory KYC in July

The decline in crypto asset prices throughout 2022 forced many of the industry’s heavyweights in Binance, Coinbase and Kraken to significantly reduce head counts significantly.

Binance has reportedly laid off over 1000 employees since May 31 this year, while Coinbase laid off 18% and then another 20% of its staff in June 2022 and in January 20 respectively. In November, Kraken released 1,100 employees, which amounted to roughly 30% of its workforce at the time.

However, recent data from March 2023, suggests the rate of layoffs throughout the crypto industry may now be decelerating.

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