Also today, the SEC has been accused of mocking the people it's meant to protect.
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Editor's Note: Layoffs Risk Sending a Dangerous Signal
The crypto markets are governed by four-year cycles. Boom and bust, bull and bear. It's the way it's always gone.
Inevitably, this has an impact on companies at the heart of this unpredictable and fast-moving industry. Priorities need to change, and tough decisions about staffing levels must be made.
Less than four months ago, Coinbase was full of swagger — declaring it plans to hire 2,000 new employees this year. Fast forward to now, and there's a hiring freeze — spurred on by a brutal $430 million loss in the first quarter of 2022, and a dramatic drop in its share price.
As we'll find out below, Coinbase's approach has caused many prospective hires serious problems — and generated countless unsavory column inches. But zoom out, and it isn't hard to see that this could put people off from joining any crypto company. Talented individuals won't want to be in a situation where their jobs are at risk every four years — or where they move cities and buy homes only to discover they're no longer wanted.
We've got no clear answer here. Maybe crypto firms need to be a little more conservative about their hiring when times are good, meaning they'll have the finances to keep them warm in crypto winters. Perhaps grandiose statements about hiring sprees should be kept in the drafts folder. Or maybe, just maybe, crypto firms should think about how their actions will feel for those getting an unexpected rejection email in their inbox.
Bitcoiners had a spring in their step after the world's biggest cryptocurrency officially ended a nine-week losing streak. As Monday began, prices stood at $30,000.10 — meaning BTC avoided posting its 10th red weekly candle in a row. This may have fueled some newfound optimism about the state of the crypto market, with Bitcoin rallying to highs of $31,500 on Monday. While BTC has surged 6% over the 24 hours, some altcoins have posted double-digit gains — Cardano, Solana, Avalanche and Polygon among them.
Coinbase caused a stir last week when it announced it was freezing new hires — and rescinding job offers already given out. But some of those left in the lurch are furious because of what's at stake. Chung Wook Ahn says he was deprived the chance of joining top tech companies including Amazon and Oracle — and because he's an international student on a visa, he has 90 days to seek employment before he loses the right to remain in the U.S. Thankfully, he's received thousands of comments — with many pointing him to potential job openings.
A new ad campaign by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission isn't going down well. It features contestants on a fictitious game show about investments — including crypto and meme stocks. But players who choose these options end up seeing their money fall through trap doors… or getting hit in the face with a custard pie. The SEC has been accused of mocking retail investors, rather than taking action to protect them. But perhaps the adverts are best seen as an attempt to grab attention and encourage consumers to do their own research.
A man who allegedly stole crypto worth $3 million in a violent home invasion has been arrested — 7,000 miles away from the scene of the crime. Zhang Tianzhe is accused of breaking into a home in California, tying up a woman with duct tape, and transferring millions from her account. Prosecutors say he threatened to torture the victim with a knife — and used an iPad hanging around his neck to give instructions. Zhang fled to Taiwan after the burglary, but American agents tracked him down and have flown him back to the U.S. Evidence was found at the time of his arrest.