In the early days of January, several major companies in the cryptocurrency industry, such as Genesis, Coinbase, Blockchain.com, and Crypto.com, announced plans to significantly reduce their workforces. For a few of these companies, such as Crypto.com and Genesis, this marks the second round of layoffs within a short period, following previous headcount cuts during the summer due to a decline in cryptocurrency prices.
Indeed, Sam Bankman-Fried’s company’s spectacular implosion in November has created ripple effects that are still causing pain in the industry.
Crypto investors still cannot pull some assets from crypto exchanges like Gemini, and there is a growing distrust in centralized exchanges among average investors.
To make the situation even thornier, the SEC on Friday accused cryptocurrency companies Genesis and Gemini, founded by the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame, of unlawfully offering unregistered securities for sale. The charges come after SEC Chairman Gary Gensler faced criticism from some investors for failing to protect against FTX’s alleged abuses.
While some leaders in the crypto world, like the CEOs of Coinbase and Ripple, have asked for more regulation around crypto trading in the past, the charges did not go over well with Gemini CEO Tyler Winklevoss, who criticized the SEC’s actions as “totally counterproductive” on Twitter.
Despite the current turmoil in the industry, with some analysts questioning how much more strain the industry can take, cryptocurrency prices are faring relatively well: both Bitcoin and Ethereum prices are up by double-digit percentages since the start of the year.