Crypto Exchange Kraken Denies Rumors of Sudden Staff Layoffs in Canada

Crypto exchange Kraken, currently ranked 11th largest globally by daily trade volumes, has denied rumors that it is laying off staff in its unit in Halifax, Canada, Finance Magnates reports September 6.

The denial comes after a post to a local discussion thread on reddit alleged that Kraken’s “unit 102 at 60 Highfield park drive” had laid off “hundreds of people…after making them sign voluntary quit forms,” further claiming that a “giant commotion” had erupted in response to an alleged security breach. After making the claim, the redditor in question asked thread contributors, “was anyone here one of those people?”

Despite the tentative question at the end of the post, some of the details appeared to have been be reinforced by a separate thread contributor, who wrote:

“10 AM, mandatory meeting. Security everywhere, required to hand in door fobs. Sitting in lunchroom, get told that due to volumes being down (both trading and support ticket), and in light of the opening of a new office in Asia, we need to reduce costs, and layoff of recently hired (<3 months, approx 57 people) was not enough.”

The contributor further alleged that meeting attendants had been told that if they would voluntarily resign before this coming “Friday at noon,” they would be given “8 weeks pay as a severance package,” but that if they would fail to do so, they could not be guaranteed further employment. “Sounds an awful lot like we just got laid off, right?,” the post’s author wrote.

Another contributor to the thread suggested that the security alert was due to the location being “compromised,” – i.e. a physical, rather than a network, breach.

Finance Magnates cites Kraken support team’s Twitter denial to a worried inquiry yesterday:

“We can confirm that we are not shutting down any operations in any specific place, and there has been no security breach. Everything is fine & secure. Thank you for your reaching out to us with your question!”

The denial was reaffirmed in a second Tweet from the Kraken support team hours later.

Yesterday’s rumors come roughly six months after a Business Insider report had claimed that a “person familiar with the [Kraken’s] operations” had said the company was “on the fast track to 1,000 employees and [was] prepared to add 800 people to its staff in 2018.”

Nonetheless, this April, Kraken pulled its trading services from Japanese residents, citing rising costs of business as the grounds for its decision.

Last month, data compiled by crypto industry newsletter producer Diar suggested that since the start of 2018, traded volumes on Kraken – alongside U.S.-based exchanges Coinbase and Bitstamp– have seen steep declines, in contrast to the relatively better performance on Asian-based crypto exchanges during the same time frame. Nonetheless, according to Diar, Kraken fared better than both its US competitors.

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