Kraken, one of the world’s longest-operating cryptocurrency exchanges, today confirmed yesterday’s rumors that it fired 57 employees from its Halifax office in Canada, the exchange’s CEO Jesse Powell told Bloomberg.
The confirmation of staff reductions at the giant crypto exchange follows speculation, rumors and posts on social networks that Kraken employees were seen leaving its Halifax office following layoffs.
Powell said that staff have been cut in an effort to reduce costs and better align with the pace of growth in the industry.
The Kraken chief, however, denied rumors of a security breach and confirmed that no other branches were affected. He also sought to emphasize that the digital asset venue is “still aggressively hiring in all areas.”
“The cost-saving measure will have zero impact on the quality of our service,” Powell added in the email.
Kraken was ranked 14th globally by volume over the past 24 hours according to coinmarketcap.com, with $180 million worth of trading.
As Finance Magnates reported today, a Reddit user posted that the San Francisco-based venue is closing its branch in “the unit 102 at 60 Highfield park drive”, which operates primarily as a customer support office, in a move that puts hundreds of jobs at risk and sparked outcry and warnings about employee rights.
Contributors to the popular discussion thread also claimed that a security breach and giant commotion were at one point “happening up there and private security all over the place escorting people off the premises after making them sign voluntary quit forms.”
Another user, who claimed familiarity with the situation, said that the company held a mandatory staff meeting at 10 am, where staff were informed of their termination.
— شتر دیدی؟ ندیدی (@arbedout) September 5, 2018
He commented on the same forum post, which has gained a notable amount of traction: “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.”
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Another Redditor added on the user-generated social site: “I think they mean a security breach for the office, the address has been posted and it’s a security risk. Kraken certainly wouldn’t be announcing that for more people to know the location.”
The Kraken support team denied the news on Twitter:
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!
— Kraken Support (@krakensupport) September 5, 2018
Most recently, the exchange reiterated their claims in another tweet:
Hi, thanks for your inquiry.
1) We’re 100% secure (Kraken continues to lead in security in the exchange industry), and there’s been no security breach.
2) We’re not closing operations in any specific place.
Thanks again for contacting us.
— Kraken Support (@krakensupport) September 6, 2018
Plans for expansion but service suspended in Japan
The rumors of the closure come nearly six months after the exchange told Business Insider that it is preparing to double its head count in 2018 and that there is a significant shortage of people who have expertise and acumen in this space. A person familiar with the company’s operations told the publication that “it is on the fast track to 1,000 employees and it’s prepared to add 800 people to its staff in 2018.”
However, in April Kraken announced that it was pulling its trading services for Japanese residents, citing the rising costs of doing business for its decision, though it said it may re-enter the country in the future.