Binance is reportedly giving thousands of employees the chop—just months after saying it would be “seeking to fill hundreds of open roles” and was “reevaluating” its headcount, as the company faces the toughest legal scrutiny of its six-year existence.
The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange told Decrypt that it had laid off staff but would not confirm the amount.
Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao then said on Twitter that “the numbers reported by media are all way off.” The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the company had laid off “over 1,000” employees. CNBC then reported that Binance plans to lay off between “1,500 and 3,000” employees, citing an unnamed source.
Binance’s global headcount was previously 8,000, the exchange has said.
Binance replied today with a prepared statement it had previously released in May saying it was not “rightsizing” but rather reevaluating whether it had the “right talent.”
As we continuously strive to increase talent density, there are involuntary terminations. This happens in every company. The numbers reported by media are all way off. 4 FUD.
On the bright side, they just can’t resist talking about us.
We are still hiring. 🤝
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) July 14, 2023
“We can’t confirm the exact number but we can confirm that layoffs have happened,” a Binance spokesperson told Decrypt.
The crypto behemoth’s CEO said on Twitter Friday that there were “involuntary terminations” but that the company was still hiring.
Binance was reportedly laying off staff back in May, journalist Colin Wu said in a newsletter, citing multiple sources.
But the exchange said in a prepared statement at the time that it needed to “focus on talent density” and wouldn’t confirm if it was cutting staff.
Binance’s headcount slash comes as a number of regulators and law enforcement investigate the controversial company.
In June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hit Binance, its CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, and sister company Binance US (which claims to be an independent company) with 13 civil charges.
The regulator said in its complaint that Binance and its boss had a “blatant disregard” of federal securities laws and “enriched themselves by billions of U.S. dollars while placing investors’ assets at significant risk.”
The U.S. Department of Justice has meanwhile been investigating the exchange for years. The company recently hired a well-known criminal defense attorney, former co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement George Canellos, seemingly preparing for imminent federal charges.