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Latest crypto price crash triggers wave of layoffs

Kitco News

(Kitco News) After suffering a massive selloff this spring, the crypto space is reeling from a wave of layoffs as companies are forced to cut employees, freeze budgets and even pull existing job offers.

The latest news came from Coinbase, which announced that it is extending its hiring freeze for new and existing positions for the "foreseeable future." And what probably bites the most is that the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange will also be rescinding some of the already accepted job offers.

The crypto company pointed to market conditions as one of the reasons for the decision.

"After assessing our business priorities, current headcount, and open roles, we have decided to pause hiring for as long as this macro environment requires," Coinbase said in a blog post on Thursday.

Coinbase is coming off a huge hiring spree, which saw the company grow to 4,948 full-time positions from just 1,700 reported a year ago.

The crypto exchange's shares dropped 9% Friday in response to the news.

This comes on the heels of billionaire twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss announcing that they are laying off 10% of the workforce at Gemini, another cryptocurrency exchange.

Cameron and Tyler described the crypto market as "in the contraction phase that is settling into a period of stasis what our industry refers to as 'crypto winter.'"

They added: "This has all been further compounded by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil. We are not alone."

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At the end of April, Robinhood —the popular retail trading platform — had to let go 9% of its employees following the company's stock plummeting to all-time lows this spring.

The crypto space just underwent a massive selloff, losing around half a trillion dollars off its overall market cap. The crash was exacerbated when TerraUSD, U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin, collapsed, which weighed heavily on other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin is now trading 57% off its record highs of $69,000 recorded in November. The world's largest cryptocurrency was trading below $30,000 at the time of wiring. Ethereum is trading at $1,751.27, down 64% off its record highs.

But the crypto space is not the only one affected by the recent risk-off dominance in the marketplace. The tech companies are also starting to get hit with layoffs as Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to cut 10% of employees and a hiring freeze.

In an email sent to executives and seen by Reuters, Musk wrote that he has a "super bad feeling" about the economy when justifying his rationale. "Note, this does not apply to anyone actually building cars, battery packs or installing solar," Musk wrote.

Tesla's shares were down 8.7% on Friday.

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