Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, reported a 63 percent drop in revenue on Tuesday as it faces a broader crypto market slump.
The company said second-quarter revenue was $808 million, down $2.2 billion from a year earlier. Its monthly customer base rose to nine million from 8.8 million last year, but was down from 9.2 million in the previous quarter. Coinbase also posted a net loss of $1.1 billion, compared to a profit of $1.6 billion a year ago.
This was the second quarter in a row that Coinbase saw revenue and users decline compared to the previous quarter.
The results underscored the stark challenges facing Coinbase at a tumultuous time for the crypto industry. Prices of leading cryptocurrencies fell in May and June as a series of experimental crypto ventures failed, sending investors into financial ruin. The crash led to layoffs and cost-cutting across the industry, dampening the excitement that had built last fall when bitcoin’s price hit record highs.
As part of the industry meltdown, Coinbase’s stock price has fallen about 75 percent since November. The company’s success is largely linked to the fluctuations of the crypto market. In the first quarter, about 90 percent of its revenue came from trading fees it charged customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.
In June, Coinbase laid off 18 percent of its staff, or about 1,100 employees. Brian Armstrong, chief executive, said the company had “over-hired”.
Coinbase’s recent struggles have raised concerns that it may be losing its early lead in the industry as rivals such as Binance and FTX continue to expand during the downturn.
Despite its early beginnings, Coinbase has never had a strong foothold in the international market, and it recently botched an expansion attempt in India. Its most popular product launch of the year — a market for digital collectibles known as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs — has been widely viewed as misguided. Last year, hiring led to overspending and wastage.
The company also came under regulatory scrutiny. Last month, the Justice Department filed insider trading charges against a former Coinbase employee. In a related action, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it believes some digital coins traded on Coinbase’s exchange are securities and therefore subject to regulation like stocks or bonds — a position the company disputes.
Coinbase’s competitors seem to be doing better. FTX, another crypto exchange, is seeing financial results that are similar to last year, according to its CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried. Binance, the world’s largest exchange, announced In June, which was trying to hold 2,000 positions.
Still, Coinbase remains one of the most trusted and recognized crypto brands in the United States, known for its memorable Super Bowl ad featuring a QR code. Last week, the company announced a partnership with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to help institutional investors trade bitcoin.