Bittrex Lays Off 80+: Citing New Economic Environment

Bittrex Exchange Laying Off More Than 80 People

  • Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex is cutting more than 80 employees
  • The layoffs are due to the „new economic environment“ caused by market downturns and crypto ecosystem failures
  • At least 29,000 jobs have been cut across the crypto industry since April

Reason for Layoffs

Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex is reducing its staff by more than 80 people, the company confirmed Thursday. The primary reason for these cuts was cited as the „new economic environment“ brought on by market downturns and crypto ecosystem failures. CEO Richie Lai noted that these events had caused them to reset their strategy and balance investments accordingly. This reduction in staff affected at least some employees in most departments across Bittrex.

Recent Crypto Industry Layoffs

Unfortunately, Bittrex isn’t the only cryptocurrency exchange to announce layoffs recently. In January, U.S.-based exchange Gemini announced a third round of layoffs while Coinbase said it would cut 20% of its workforce. According to CoinDesk estimates, since April over 29,000 jobs have been lost across the crypto industry due to media reports and press releases.

Effects of Market Downturns

Market downturns can be especially difficult for new or small businesses trying to break into the cryptocurrency space as they typically don’t have access to capital like larger companies do and can find it difficult to stay afloat during bear markets. Unfortunately, this has been seen time and time again with many exchanges that failed due to a lack of liquidity or other issues outside of their control such as regulatory changes or financial difficulties amongst their user base.

Moving Forward

As we move forward into 2021 there will likely be more layoffs in the crypto industry as companies adjust their strategies based on current market conditions. That being said, it is important for those looking to get into cryptocurrency trading/investing or working in related fields understand that there are risks involved and also prepare themselves accordingly if things don’t go as planned.

Conclusion

Bittrex’s decision to reduce its staff by over eighty people serves as an example of how much damage a bear market can cause within an industry when investors start pulling out their funds due to financial difficulty or even fearmongering from outside sources such as government regulations or news outlets reporting negatively on cryptocurrencies. It is important for anyone considering investing in cryptocurrencies understand both the risks involved before doing so but also take comfort in knowing that despite recent losses there are still opportunities available if one takes the time research properly before diving head first into any type of trading activity

Stablecoins to Require Licensing in Hong Kong this Year: HKMA

• Hong Kong is introducing mandatory licensing for stablecoin issuers.
• Algorithmic stablecoins like TerraUSD will not be accepted under the planned regime.
• The value of reserve assets of a stablecoin arrangement should always meet the value of outstanding stablecoins.

Hong Kong to Require Stablecoin Licensing

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is set to demand mandatory licensing for all entities conducting regulated activity in Hong Kong related to the issuance, governance and stabilization of fiat-backed stablecoins. Algorithmic stablecoins like terraUSD will not be accepted under the planned regulatory regime.

Stablecoin Reserves Must Meet Value of Outstanding Coins

To ensure that the reserve assets of a stablecoin arrangement match the value of outstanding coins, these reserves must be high quality and highly liquid. Any deviation from this requirement may render an issuer ineligible for licensing. The HKMA is expected to consider feedback on its discussion paper, market developments and international standards when drawing up specific regulatory arrangements for issuers seeking a license.

Reaction from the Crypto Community

The regulation has been met with support from those within the crypto community who have expressed concern over financial risks due to unstable coins in circulation without adequate controls or supervision in place. On one hand, some believe that such regulations may bring stability and trust into digital currency markets while others worry that it could increase costs associated with issuing tokens or stifle innovation through overly restrictive rules or reporting requirements.

Previous Incident Involving TerraUSD

This news comes after an incident involving algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD last year which collapsed after failing to maintain its peg due to arbitrage-driven losses caused by market volatility and liquidity issues. It serves as a reminder of how important it is for regulators to ensure that all participants adhere to stringent requirements when issuing tokens intended as payment instruments or store of value assets on behalf of customers or investors alike.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Hong Kong’s proposed regulations for fiat-backed stablecoins provide a much needed level of control and oversight into this burgeoning sector while still allowing space for innovation within its parameters. While some have voiced concerns about increased costs or restrictions imposed on token issuers, overall these measures are likely to bolster confidence in digital currencies among both consumers and businesses alike by providing greater transparency and security around their issuance process across global markets going forward.

Floki Inu Devs Pitch $55M Token Burn to Strengthen DeFi Position

• Floki Inu is proposing to burn $55 million of its tokens as part of a move towards positioning the project as a serious DeFi contender.
• The proposal also addresses security risks associated with cross-chain bridges and aims to reduce the tax levied on each transaction.
• If it passes, 4.97 trillion FLOKI tokens in the Floki bridge will be burnt.

Floki Inu Floats DAO Proposal for Token Burn

Floki Inu developers have floated a governance proposal to burn nearly $55 million of its namesake FLOKI tokens and reduce a tax levied on each transaction. The project hopes to position itself as a serious decentralized finance (DeFi) contender by reducing token supply and demonstrating focus on utility and fundamentals.

Rationale Behind Token Burning

Burning tokens is a way of reducing supply, which subsequently adds value to each token as long as the level of demand remains the same. This rationale is supported by the team’s efforts to increase Floki’s utility through mainnet releases such as FlokiFi Locker protocol and Valhalla metaverse game testnet release in bear market conditions.

Security Risks With Cross-Chain Bridges

The proposal also pointed out security risks associated with bridges since over $2 billion was lost or stolen from cross-chain bridges last year alone, according to CoinDesk reports. As such, an exploit on Floki’s main bridge could have catastrophic implications due to holding 55% of what should be its total circulating supply – enough to drain liquidity pools and destroy the project if exploited.

What Will Happen If Proposal Passes?

If this proposal passes, some 4.97 trillion FLOKI tokens in the Floki bridge will be burnt while the self-imposed buy and sell tax on each transaction will be reduced accordingly in order to incentivize trading activity within the network.

Conclusion

The proposed token burning initiative is seen as an important step towards establishing Floki Inu as a serious DeFi contender through regulating its token supply while addressing security risks associated with cross-chain bridges in order to protect users against theft or loss of funds. If successful, it could lead to increased usage and adoption across DeFi protocols

Bitcoin Jumps 40% in January, Best Performance Since 2013

• Bitcoin has surged 40% this month in its best start to the year since 2013.
• U.S.-based investors have been the main source of buying pressure.
• Futures premiums are evidence of increased institutional buying.

Bitcoin Posts Best January Since 2013

Bitcoin (BTC) is having its best start to the year since 2013, with prices jumping 40% since Jan. 1 as a result of weakness in the U.S. dollar and bullish trading during U.S hours.

U.S.-Based Investors Leading Bullish Trading

„Bitcoin is up +40% year to date with +35% of those returns occurring during U.S. trading hours,“ Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at crypto services provider Matrixport said in a note on Friday.

„We interpret this as a clear signal that U.S. institutions are buyers of bitcoin right now,“ he added.

Futures Premiums Evidence Of Increased Institutional Buying

Institutions‘ bullish positioning is also reflected in an uptick in bitcoin futures premiums listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

„Traditional and crypto-focused hedge funds, corporates and traditional asset managers have been buying,“ Coinbase Institutional’s head of research, David Guong said.

Crypto Markets Outlook

„The current rally could be signaling a new wave of institutional investments headed into the crypto market,“ Crypto Research Report founder Mati Greenspan said.

Cryptos Shrug Off U.S. Jobs, Productivity Data; Bitcoin Hovers at $22.9K

• The United States recently released data on its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and jobless claims which showed an unexpectedly small jump in the economy.
• Bitcoin and other cryptos were largely unimpressed by this news and the price remained relatively unchanged.
• Litecoin, however, has had strong performance over the past year compared to bitcoin and ether.

Latest US Productivity, Jobs Data

The United States recently released data on its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and jobless claims which showed an unexpectedly small jump in the economy. Jobless claims sank underlining the current tight job market and an economy that was still rising. However, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were largely unimpressed by this news with prices remaining relatively unchanged.

Bitcoin Price Movement

Bitcoin was trading a little below its most recent $23,000 support line, down 1.4% over the past 24 hours. Despite this dip in prices, Bitcoin’s more than 35% rise this year remains a positive story for many investors. Analysts remain wary of short-term prospects for Bitcoin along with those of other cryptocurrencies that are still struggling from industry misdeeds of 2022.

Litecoin Performance

Litecoin has operated largely out of the spotlight even as its price has held up better than other cryptocurrencies over the past year compared to bitcoin and ether. This altcoin has seen some success despite not being featured heavily in media coverage or discussions about cryptocurrency investments.

Market Outlook

CoinDesk Crypto Markets Analyst Glenn Williams noted that an uptick in volume along with higher prices is generally a bullish sign but flat prices signal that both bullish and bearish investors are actively expressing their views on the market . Ether followed a similar trend as Bitcoin to trade just below $1,600 at approximately 4 pm EST time today (Jan 27th). Gold spot price also decreased slightly while Treasury Yield 10 Years remained unchanged at 3.49%.

Conclusion

Overall, US economic data failed to move crypto markets significantly showing that investors are remaining cautious despite recent gains by Bitcoin throughout 2021 so far. Litecoin continues to show strong performance while Ethereum follows similarly with slight drops in price today (Jan27th).

Financial Services Subcommittee to Focus on Stablecoin Regulation

• Rep. French Hill (R-Arkansas) announced that the Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion will focus on stablecoin regulation as its first priority.
• The Subcommittee plans to use its stablecoins draft as a model for how it will approach digital asset regulation moving forward.
• Rep. Hill believes that creating a privacy statute federally is also important for digital asset regulation.

The Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion, chaired by Rep. French Hill (R-Arkansas), recently announced their plans to focus on the regulation of stablecoins as the first priority. This decision was made following an interview with CoinDesk TV’s „First Mover“ on Thursday.

Rep. Hill explained that the Subcommittee will use its stablecoins draft as a model for how it will approach digital asset regulation moving forward. This draft will serve as a template for the creation of regulations that will ensure that these digital assets are secure and compliant with the law. Additionally, the Subcommittee will also seek to create a privacy statute federally, which Hill believes is an important step towards providing proper regulations for digital assets.

In his interview with CoinDesk TV, Hill also discussed the need for clarity on which agency, the SEC or the CFTC, will seek explicit oversight. He expressed the need to „sort through“ these questions to ensure regulations are properly implemented.

The Subcommittee’s focus on stablecoin regulation is an important step towards providing more clarity and security to digital asset investors. It is likely that the Subcommittee’s efforts will also provide guidance to other regulatory bodies and institutions that are attempting to create their own regulations.

The Subcommittee’s plans to create a privacy statute federally is also a welcome development, as this could provide additional protections for digital asset investors. It remains to be seen how the Subcommittee will go about this process, but it is likely that they will consult with other regulatory bodies and industry experts to ensure that any regulations they create are comprehensive and effective.

Overall, the Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion’s focus on stablecoins is a positive sign for the digital asset industry. By creating regulations that ensure the security and compliance of these assets, the Subcommittee will help to ensure that digital assets can be used safely and securely by investors.

Crypto Marketing in 2023: Taking Accountability and Transparency Seriously

• In 2023, crypto marketing needs to change and become more accountable.
• The Fyre Festival was an example of how influencer marketing can be deceitful if it is not properly vetted.
• Celebrities such as Kendall Jenner were forced to pay fines for promoting the festival without disclosing financial relationships.

Crypto marketing is a growing phenomenon in the digital world, but it needs to change if it is going to survive in the long run. This is especially true for the year 2023, when we need to make sure that influencer marketing is held accountable for its actions and that financial relationships are disclosed. To illustrate this point, we can take a look at the ill-fated Fyre Festival and how its influencer marketing backfired.

In 2017, Fyre Festival was a music festival that promised a beachside paradise with A-list models, and it was heavily promoted by celebrity influencers, including Kendall Jenner. Millennials flocked to the Bahamas, only to find out that the festival was a sham. In the end, the organizers were hit with a class action lawsuit and celebrities were forced to pay fines for promoting the festival without disclosing the financial relationships.

This example highlights the importance of holding influencers accountable for their actions. Consumers should be aware of the financial relationships between influencers and brands, and brands should take the necessary steps to ensure that these relationships are properly disclosed. Moreover, influencers should be more transparent and honest when promoting products or services.

In 2023, it is crucial that crypto marketing adopts a more ethical approach. Companies need to be mindful of the potential risks of influencer marketing and ensure that their campaigns are properly vetted and that financial relationships are disclosed. This is the only way to ensure that crypto marketing remains transparent and trustworthy.

DCG Closes HQ Wealth Management Division Amid Crypto Winter

• Digital Currency Group (DCG) has announced the closure of its wealth-management division, HQ, due to the current economic environment and prolonged crypto winter.
• The business reportedly had more than $3.5 billion in assets under management.
• DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk.

Digital Currency Group, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency conglomerates, has announced the closure of its wealth-management division, HQ. The decision came as a reaction to the current economic environment and prolonged crypto winter, which has presented significant headwinds to the industry.

HQ was launched in late 2019 as a way for DCG to help its clients invest in digital assets, offering them a range of services such as portfolio management, trading, and advisory. It had more than $3.5 billion in assets under management, according to reports.

In a statement released on Thursday, DCG said that it had made the tough decision to wind down HQ as of the end of January. The company expressed pride in the work that the team had done and said that it looked forward to potentially revisiting the project in the future.

DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk, a leading crypto news and information source. The company also owns Genesis Global Trading, which recently announced layoffs.

The decision to close HQ is yet another sign of the economic uncertainty that has pervaded the crypto industry in recent months. Despite the bear market, however, DCG remains optimistic about the future, and the company’s CEO, Barry Silbert, has said that he believes that the industry will rebound in the near future.

For now, DCG is focusing on other projects, and the company’s recent investments suggest that it is well-positioned to capitalize on the potential of the crypto market in the future. With its wide range of services and its deep understanding of digital assets, DCG is sure to remain a major player in the industry for years to come.

Argo Blockchain Avoids Bankruptcy with $100 Million Deal with Galaxy Digital

• Argo Blockchain (ARBK) has avoided filing for bankruptcy protection after agreeing to sell its Helios mining facility in Dickens Country, Texas to Galaxy Digital for $65 million.
• The miner will also get a new $35 million loan from investor Michael Novogratz’s crypto-focused financial-services firm, which will be secured by Argo’s mining equipment.
• Argo’s shares have more than doubled in early London Stock Exchange trading.

Argo Blockchain (ARBK) has successfully avoided filing for bankruptcy protection after agreeing to sell its Helios mining facility in Dickens Country, Texas to Galaxy Digital for $65 million. The miner will also be receiving a new $35 million loan from investor Michael Novogratz’s crypto-focused financial-services firm, which will be secured by Argo’s mining equipment. This transaction will help Argo bolster its balance sheet and avoid bankruptcy after a deal for $27 million in funding fell through in October.

The miner had found itself in a precarious situation and was in advanced negotiations to sell some of its assets and carry out an equipment financing transaction to avoid filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, with the help of Galaxy Digital, Argo will be able to continue mining through the bear market, reduce its debt load and maintain access to the unique power grid in Texas.

Chris Ferraro, president and chief investment officer at Galaxy, noted that the deal was structured to boost Argo’s balance sheet and capital structure. When the miner kicked off its process, “we were in a position to solve the problem completely for Argo, while accelerating the expansion of our own mining capabilities,” he added.

Additionally, the two companies have also entered into a two-year hosting agreement with Galaxy, securing a place for Argo’s computers to keep mining at the Helios facility.

The news of the deal was welcomed by the markets as Argo’s shares more than doubled in early London Stock Exchange trading. On Tuesday, the company requested a 24-hour suspension of trading in its Nasdaq-listed stock to discuss further details.

All in all, the deal with Galaxy Digital comes as a much needed lifeline for Argo Blockchain and its shareholders. The miner will now be able to reduce its debt load and continue mining in the bear market, while Galaxy Digital will be able to expand its own mining capabilities.

Crypto Payments to Ransomware Hackers Plummet: Regs and AML Win the War

• Cryptocurrency payments to ransomware hackers totaled a mere $16 million in 2022, compared to nearly $74 million USD in 2021.
• Analysis of on-chain activity shows that crypto services with a high money laundering risk score are seeing a drop in popularity.
• Crypto exchanges and services that manage to keep “dirty” crypto out have been further tightening anti-money laundering policies, effectively scaring away criminal actors.

The prevalence of ransomware attacks has increased in recent years, with the notorious Conti ransomware gang terrorizing U.S. hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, blockchain intelligence firm Crystal Blockchain has reported that cryptocurrency payments to ransomware hackers totaled a mere $16 million in 2022, compared to nearly $74 million USD in 2021.

Nick Smart, Crystal’s director of blockchain intelligence, noted that it may be too early to conclude that ransomware attacks are in permanent decline. He further explained that due to the way ransoms generally work, it’s not possible to tell what happened now as many companies don’t disclose payment information publicly.

In order to combat the rise of cybercrime, an analysis of on-chain activity has been conducted, which has revealed that crypto services with a high money laundering risk score – meaning they receive funds from scams and cybercrime more often than others – are seeing a drop in popularity. This is likely due to increased regulation, registration and client expectations.

In addition, to keep “dirty” crypto out, crypto exchanges and services have been further tightening anti-money laundering policies. This has effectively scared away criminal actors, with the volume of funds sent to low-risk exchanges from scams having fallen by 24% in 2022 compared to 2021.

Overall, the combination of heightened regulation and anti-money laundering policies, as well as a decrease in the number of services willing to accept funds from cybercrime, appears to have had a significant impact on the amount of cryptocurrency payments to ransomware hackers. This could be a sign that the world is slowly winning the battle against cyber criminals.