Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Twin billionaire entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are laying off 10% of Gemini’s workforce, though the crypto exchange has declined to disclose the exact number of employees affected. The twins said the industry was in a “contraction phase” known as “crypto winter”, which was “further compounded by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil”. Gemini has also closed its physical offices to protect employee privacy, and will speak individually to affected staff about separation packages and healthcare benefits.
Gemini is not the only crypto exchange to have laid off staff recently. 2TM (Mercado Bitcoin’s holding company) laid off 86 employees on Wednesday, citing the impact of “the changing global financial landscape, rising interest rates and inflation” on tech firms. It further said “the scenario required adjustments” that went “beyond reducing operational expenses”, making the layoffs necessary. Just a week before, Mercado’s main competitor, Latin American crypto exchange Bitso, and Argentina-based exchange Buenbit each laid off 80 employees.
Solana’s latest outage, which kept it offline for over four hours yesterday, coincided with its native SOL token falling to $38.10. IDX Digital Assets’ CIO Ben McMillan said Solana’s “lack of decentralization” had caused “multiple instances of downtime”, spooking investors and pushing SOL “down to prices not seen since Aug”. Allnodes Inc. CEO Konstantin Boyko-Romanovsky, on the other hand, said the outages were “not a reason for concern” as Solana was a “working blockchain with many interesting projects and a growing NFT market”.
The South African government has charged former Monero lead developer Riccardo Spagni with 378 counts of fraud, forgery and uttering, following allegations that he defrauded his former employer, Cape Cookies, of $93,500 between Oct 2009 and June 2011. Spagni has pleaded not guilty to the charges and reportedly waived his right to an extradition hearing, while his lawyers’ attempts to have the court documents detailing the charges struck from record have been rejected.
A whistleblower called Fatman has published an alleged chat log between Do Kwon, Terra validators, and infrastructure providers from the Terra blockchain community, which Fatman claims proves that over 50 people “knew about the (network) halt before it happened”. In the conversation, Do Kwon apparently said, “I think a halt makes sense. And validators can discuss how to restart the network.” Fatman, who claimed to have obtained the chat log from an anonymous source, has in the past accused Terra and Do Kwon of suspicious acts.
Crypto.com has been granted a provisional crypto license from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), which will conduct further due diligence before issuing the exchange a full operating license. This follows its Mar announcement that it would establish a regional office in Dubai. Meanwhile, FTX has launched in Japan after acquiring local exchange Liquid in Feb, with CEO Sam Bankman-Fried highlighting Japan’s “potential (crypto) market size of almost $1 trillion” as a key reason for the exchange’s expansion into the country.
Show me the money
BTC rose 1.13% to $30,247.87 in the last 24 hours. Within the same period, ETH fell 1.27% to $1,796.96, while other major altcoins also saw declines: ADA was down 1.07%, SOL was down 2.34% and AVAX 0.26%. At the same time, meme tokens SHIB and DOGE saw mixed results: the former fell 1.44% and the latter rose 0.32% in the past 24 hours. After dipping yesterday, LUNA rose 1.98% to $6.57 in the past 24 hours.
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