Crypto SWOT: Major crypto-businesses move forward with layoffs

Strengths

  • Of the cryptocurrencies tracked by CoinMarketCap, the best performer for the week was Sirin Labs, rising 906.53%.
  • The United Kingdom’s digital minister reiterated the government’s ambition to make Britain a global cryptocurrency hub while simultaneously sounding a cautious note about the potential criminal uses of digital assets. ”We do intend for the United Kingdom and London to be crypto centers,“ Chris Philp said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio on Wednesday.
  • The Bank of Israel is working with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on a trial which will test a new digital currency, including against cyber security risks, the Bank of Israel said. The joint project will start in the third quarter, will use a two-tier central bank digital currency (CBDC), and will be issued by the central bank and then distributed by financial intermediaries like banks, reports Bloomberg.

Weaknesses

  • Of the cryptocurrencies tracked by CoinMarketCap, the worst performing for the week was Etherstones, down 100%.
  • Bitcoin plunged to the lowest level in about 18 months in Asia trading on Monday as the impact of Friday’s U.S. inflation data continued to reverberate through global risk assets. Traders are boosting bets for a more aggressive pace of Federal Reserve tightening after data on Friday showed U.S. inflation jumped to a fresh 40-year high in May, writes Bloomberg.


  • Business intelligence company MicroStrategy Inc., which over the last two years has amassed more than 129,000 Bitcoin tokens, has plunged as much as 23% as the crypto markets fall lower. Cryptocurrency stocks including Marathon Digital Holdings, Riot Blockchain and Coinbase Global Inc. also saw outsized declines of at least 14% each. The MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 100 Index, which measures the 100 largest digital assets, sank as much as 14% this week.

Opportunities

  • Changpeng Zhao, co-founder and CEO of Binance, thinks the crypto winter is a great time to increase investment in both talent and acquisitions. ”We have a very healthy war chest, we in fact are expanding hiring right now,“ Zhao said in a virtual interview during last week’s Consensus 2022 conference. Binance is also looking to increase its investment in other companies, building on efforts such as its $200 million investment in Forbes, which Zhao explains is a strategic move to help drive the adoption of blockchain technology into more sectors, writes Bloomberg.  
  • Circle Internet Financial is launching a euro-based version of its popular USDC stablecoin, which has been gaining traction after its closest rival Tether has come under increased scrutiny. Euro coin will be available June 30 to institutional customers as a regulated euro-backed stablecoin issued under the same full-reserve model as USDC, reports Bloomberg.  
  • Goldman Sachs Group has started to trade a type of derivative tied to Ether, as Wall Street investors look for ways to bet on the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency. The bank successfully executed its first trade of Ethereum non-deliverable forwards, a derivative that pays out in cash based on the price of Ether, according to Bloomberg.  

Threats

  • Celsius Network paused withdrawals, swaps, and transfers after weeks of speculation over the sustainability of the outsized returns being offered by the DeFi lending platform, fueling a broad cryptocurrency selloff, reports Bloomberg. Crypto markets tumbled after the Celsius announcement, with Bitcoin dropping as much as 14% to the lowest level since December 2020 and other major tokens like Ether also falling sharply, the article explains.  
  • Coinbase Global Inc. announced Tuesday it will lay off 18% of its workforce in another sign of a worsening crypto downturn that’s shaved off hundreds of millions of the total cryptocurrency market value. The biggest crypto exchange in the U.S. is following in the footsteps of other cryptocurrency-related businesses that have recently cut staff, including rival exchange Gemini Trust Co. and lender BlockFi, writes Bloomberg.  
  • Bitcoin tumbled again this week, driving the token to the brink of $20,000, as evidence of deepening stress within the crypto industry keeps pilling up. There’s a growing sense of anxiety about the stability of crypto projects large and small. Bitcoin fell as much as 8.6% mid-week, resulting in nine straight days of loses, writes Bloomberg.




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