Redditors Claim Sudden LayOffs and Security Crackdown at Kraken Crypto Exchange’s Halifax Branch

An employee at a Halifax leg of the Kraken crypto exchange that few knew existed has claimed that employees were suddenly laid off yesterday morning in a high-security atmosphere.

The thread was started by “throwaway34034324” on reddit:

Kraken Halifax closes their doors forcing hundreds of people out of work, were you one of them? from halifax

Redditor “MysteriousPlankton” confirmed within hours that Kraken gathered its Halifax employees in the lunchroom early yesterday and advised them that forthcoming layoffs would involve more than its 57 recent hires:

“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.”

Employees were then asked to resign voluntarily in exchange for eight week’s severance or face the possibility that their jobs would be discontinued:

“We’re told that if we resign by Friday at noon, we’re given 8 weeks pay as a severance package. If we do not accept in time, they tell us that they cannot guarantee our continued employment. Sounds an awful lot like we just got laid off, right?”

“MysteriousPlankton” then declined to further discuss the matter for several hours:

 “I can’t (read: don’t want to) talk more about it, but that’s what has been going down.”

Kraken quickly denied the implied security breach on Twitter and said it is not completely shuttering any of its outlets:

“MysteriousPlankton” said that employees were forbidden to remove documents or personal items from their desks.

Some redditors speculated that the show of force may have been less about a breach and more about making sure employees did not abscond with company property or take clients.

Later in the day, “Mysterious Plankton” wrote, “most around the room seemed inclined to just take (the severance package) instead of taking the gamble with not having any work, nor any severance”:

“That was the impression – either we sign off and take the money, or we’re just going to end up out on the curb anyway.”

“Mysterious Plankton,” wrote that the Halifax office was involved in many aspects of operating the Kraken exchange as a whole:

“Back-office, mostly. KYC/AML, deposit/withdrawal processing, VIP support, security & investigations… the layoffs cover just about every aspect of their business.”

Another redditor, “pablo902” said that Kraken Halifax was operating under the pseudonym “Poseidon,” and “Hal_IT” wrote:

“From what I’ve been told they had very restrictive confidentiality agreements. Like, cosplaying the CIA level…apparently you weren’t allowed to tell anyone who you actually worked for…This is all second hand, for the record…”

“Pablo902” responded:

“I interviewed for them and even after I told I them i knew the real name of the company the interviewer said she wasn’t allowed to say it back to me. Cosplaying the CIA is 100% accurate.”

“What kind of security breach, do you know? Physical or network?” asked “Ex_professo.”

“Morally maybe?…” joked “nsrally.”

“Zeeblecroid” was pragmatic:

“It’s generally a good idea to assume any cryptocurrency exchange is under constant attack and not half as good at protecting against them as they think/claim they are…We aren’t talking banks or other grown-up financial institutions here.”

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