Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has recently made significant changes to its employee benefits and staffing as it faces regulatory challenges and a decline in profits. The company cited the “current market environment and the US regulatory climate” as reasons for these measures and indicated that further cost-cutting actions may be necessary.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Binance has ceased providing reimbursement for certain expenses to its employees, including mobile phone usage, fitness expenses, and work-from-home costs. This decision was communicated to employees through an internal message, in which the company emphasized the need for prudence in spending. The report also highlighted that Binance had already laid off more than 1,000 employees in recent weeks, reducing its global workforce from around 8,000 prior to its sixth anniversary on July 14.
Although Binance did not explicitly reference the regulatory climate in the United States, the company is currently dealing with legal actions brought forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Both agencies accuse Binance of offering unregistered securities, which the exchange has labeled as regulation by enforcement.
During a company meeting held on Binance’s sixth anniversary, founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao reassured employees that the firm remains profitable and unaffected by the SEC lawsuit. However, Zhao also mentioned the possibility of further layoffs every three to six months, and uncertainty regarding the reinstatement of employee benefits.
A spokesperson for Binance stated that the company is reviewing its products, business units, staff benefits, and policies to ensure proper resource allocation in line with user and regulatory demands.
The legal actions taken by the SEC and the CFTC have had a financial impact on Binance. The exchange’s bottom line has been affected, and executives are cautious about its future. Binance intends to defend its platform and fight the charges in court while continuing its operations.
Zhao addressed the recent workforce reductions in a tweet, stating that the reported numbers were inaccurate and emphasizing that Binance is still actively hiring to increase talent density.
In termination agreements sent to some of the employees laid off, Binance offered two months’ salary in BNB, its native token, as a gesture of goodwill. The agreements included clauses requiring employees to maintain confidentiality, release any claims against the company, and refrain from making negative statements about Binance.
Binance, as the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has been actively hiring despite the challenges faced by the industry, including the collapse of other digital-asset firms such as FTX.
As Binance reevaluates its operations amidst regulatory scrutiny and financial pressures, the company aims to adapt to the evolving landscape while maintaining its position in the global cryptocurrency market.