As many tech companies face a slump and crypto looks set for a deep freeze, Coinbase is facing reality and hitting the brakes on spending. The company is halting some business projects, freezing hiring for two weeks and cutting its spending on Amazon Web Services, the Information reported Thursday.
Coinbase is also giving employees stock grants to boost compensation, according to internal emails viewed by the Information. The company's stock tumbled more than 75% in the last year. Employees will receive grants that offset half the difference between grants made earlier in the year and the company's closing share price on Friday, the Information reported.
In a plan codenamed "Plutus," Coinbase will focus its efforts on products such as retail trading, institutional trading and custody, and staking, as well as focus on international expansion.
The plan also includes several cost-cutting measures, such as trimming spending on AWS and Datadog and reducing gas fees for validating crypto transactions, according to the Information. The company also paused initiatives including business banking and a months-old pilot program for remittances. Though Coinbase will honor job offers sent to candidates as of this past Monday, further hiring has been paused.
The news follows a Monday blog post from President and COO Emilie Choi, noting that the company was planning to slow hiring amid the market downturn, and will "reassess our headcount needs against our highest-priority business goals." Coinbase had previously planned to triple the size of the company, which now has more than 5,000 employees.
"This slow down will also force us to be more rigorous in our prioritization," said Choi. "We’re in a strong position — we have a solid balance sheet and we’ve been through several market downturns before, and we’ve emerged stronger every time."
Coinbase stock is down this month, closing at $67.42 on Thursday. Its shares are down 80% since its direct listing in April 2021.