Cryptocurrency Exchange Risk and Compliance Staff at Big Exchanges are Affected by Crypto Layoffs

Companies like Coinbase and Gemini have terminated staff and withdrawn employment offers, but recruiters claim that there is still a demand for legal and compliance talent in the market, especially among startups.


Up until recently, the Cryptocurrency Market was a financial powerhouse. Both institutional and private investors poured cash into the space, and top personnel flocked there to participate in its expansion.


These companies' fortunes have altered relatively instantly as a result of the recent sharp decline in bitcoin values, leading to layoffs.


The risk and compliance departments at several of the biggest Cryptocurrency Exchanges, such Coinbase Global Inc. and Gemini Trust Co., have seen job reductions. Because compliance is typically seen as a function associated with costs rather than revenue generation, financial-services companies frequently reduce compliance staff during economic downturns; however, compliance experts warned that doing so at crypto companies could carry regulatory and reputational risks given the continued regulatory scrutiny the industry is subject to in the U.S.



Will Brown, an executive search lead for financial services at Hamlyn Williams Inc., a global recruiter that specialises in regulated industries, stated that compliance specialists join a company for compensation and titles as well as for a healthy compliance culture.


"You would be concerned about the longevity to join the compliance crew if [the firm] had a reputation for reducing compliance workers when the market becomes tight."


That, he continued, may result in greater turnover in the compliance department. In June, Coinbase announced it will reduce 1,100 jobs, or approximately 18%, from its workforce because it had expanded too quickly and a possible recession "may lead to another crypto winter."


A "talent hub" was established by the business to facilitate laid-off workers in finding new jobs.


Also Read: How To Exchange Cryptocurrency On Coinbase


Compliance analysts, paralegals for marketing, investigations analysts, financial-crime-investigations analysts, and an Indian compliance and anti-money-laundering manager were among those who put themselves on the hub.


According to the recruitment portal, the Cryptocurrency Exchange also revoked other job offers, including those for compliance employees and a know-your-customer onboarding associate.


A spokesman claimed in an email that Coinbase "would never compromise on its commitment to security and compliance" and that the company "continues to employ for security and compliance roles around the world."


According to the spokesman, who declined to disclose the breakdown of compliance staff, the company anticipates having around 5,000 full-time employees by the end of the second quarter, which is almost four times the roughly 1,250 workers it had at the end of 2020.


Bitcoin Exchange


Gemini reduced its workforce by 10% in June, blaming the effects of the market slump.


According to those acquainted with the situation, its head of risk and director of business operations and intelligence, who most recently served as the deputy chief compliance officer, both left their positions lately.


Also Read: The Best Trading Strategy Of Bitcoin


Gemini's representatives declined to comment. Gemini's founders, brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, explained the employment cuts in a blog post in June. They said the choice to concentrate only on absolutely essential goods and a "contraction phase" in the cryptocurrency industry were the reasons behind the layoffs.


Industry observers stated that since the companies quickly built up these teams, and staff should be able to take on extra responsibilities, the layoffs at the two exchanges are unlikely to have a significant impact on their compliance activities.


They can withstand the shocks to a certain amount, according to Mr. Brown.


Recruiters reported that despite the layoffs, the demand for legal and compliance talent among cryptocurrency companies persists, especially among startups as these companies negotiate a changing regulatory landscape.


According to Google trends provided for The Wall Street Journal by the website, which specialises in the blockchain sector, 261 crypto-related legal and compliance job advertisements were placed in the United States in June.


Also Read: What Is A Kraken? | Kraken Exchange | How Does It Work?


Companies looking for compliance personnel include both traditional financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and crypto firms like financial technology company MoonPay and FTX US, a division of Bahamian Crypto Exchange FTX.


All job levels, from entry level to executives, are included in the advertisements.


Bitcoin Exchange , according to the data, Kraken had the most open legal positions, with 112 legal positions advertised in June overall and 31 new job ads between June 23 and June 30.


24 mid-to-senior level posts and seven director-level positions are available at Kraken.


Although the Crypto Industry is not subject to the same regulatory requirements as conventional financial institutions, Mr. Brown said there is still a need to increase compliance capability at these companies. "These corporations are under a lot of strain," he remarked.


"You still need to hire—that won't go away, even in a downturn."


The latest crypto layoffs, according to Brian Burlant, a legal recruiter with the executive search company Major, Lindsey & Africa, are a correction for the embryonic market following a wave of excitement that led investors to pump money in.


Compliance job candidates may want to consider more carefully about the organisations they choose, including by taking a deeper look at their business models, said Mr. Burlant, who this year worked on the hunt for a general counsel for a crypto exchange and another for a Web3 fund.


In order to assist define how this regulatory environment would appear in the future, he said, "smart corporations are taking on the people with the best reputation."


"Regulators require these individuals' feedback.


The most crucial members of their team should have influence, so [the corporations] won't budge.


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