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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The transition from fast-growing crypto service provider to mature multi-billion-dollar public company is not an easy one.

Why it matters: Coinbase is the first big company to make that transition, and has already changed dramatically as a result.

Driving the news: Coinbase this week announced big new changes to the way it pays employees, including higher salaries all round and an ironclad "no negotiation" policy when hiring.

  • Equity grants will also vest over one year, rather than four.

Context: Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong lost about 60 of his employees last October when they took an exit package rather than sign on to a new policy barring political discussion at work. In doing so, he staked out a clear position on one side of Silicon Valley's culture war.

  • That's created some skepticism around the new policy, which chief people officer L.J. Brock claims was designed, at least in part, to ensure than women and underrepresented minorities are not left behind.

The big picture: Many Coinbase employees became dynastically wealthy when the company went public; many others have similarly achieved massive wealth during the current crypto boom. But the days of joining Coinbase on a relatively modest salary, in the hope of a massive future windfall, are clearly over — especially with Coinbase stock falling rather than rising.

  • Coinbase therefore needs to start attracting a very different kind of employee — people who want a good, steady salary.

My thought bubble: Fairness might not be the motivation here, and it might not ever arrive, given the well-documented company culture and what Brock characterizes as "our rigorous performance management process."

  • That said, fairness (or slightly more fairness) is likely to be a side-effect — assuming that Coinbase sticks to its policy and doesn't allow rivals like BitGo to troll them into reversing it.

What to watch: Coinbase reports its first-ever earnings as a public company after the close today.

Go deeper

McDonald's raising hourly wages at company-owned restaurants

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

McDonald's on Thursday announced it will be increasing hourly wages for current employees at company-owned restaurants, with entry-level staff eligible to earn up to $17.

Why it matters: The company said it hopes the move will attract new applicants as it looks to hire 10,000 new employees ahead of the "busy summer season."

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.