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While there are many builders in the crypto space, the total money invested in the crypto market hit its 32-month low in May.
The monthly cryptocurrency exchange volume, which calculates the spot market volume for all crypto exchanges, was $439.42 billion in May, down more than 27% from $604.88 billion in April, according to data from The Block.
Last month’s volume was the lowest since October 2020 at $222.7 billion, the data showed.
Binance, the largest exchange, saw about $218 billion in monthly exchange volume in May, down about 26% from $293.83 billion in the previous month. Possibly due to the bear market and reduced demand, the exchange said it is reassessing its workforce in anticipation of future market cycles.
Over the past six years, the exchange grew from 30 employees to a team of nearly 8,000 employees around the world, a Binance spokesperson told TechCrunch.
“As we prepare for the next big bull cycle, it has become clear that we need to focus on talent density across the organization to ensure we remain agile and dynamic,” the Binance spokesperson added. “This is not a matter of entitlement, but rather re-evaluation of whether we have the right talent and expertise in critical positions, which is why we will continue to seek to fill hundreds of open positions.”
The re-evaluation also includes “looking at certain products and business units to ensure that our resources are properly allocated to reflect changing user and regulatory requirements.”
This statement comes after a tweet on Wednesday by reporter Colin Wu who said multiple sources confirmed that Binance has begun layoffs. While the actual number is “uncertain,” the exchange may have laid off as many as 20% of its roughly 8,000 employees.
Patrick Hillmann, Binance’s Chief Communications Officer, also disputed the claim in his own tweet thread and said the company is not Cut 20% of employees “as a cost-cutting measure”.
The number of workers laid off could be “a much smaller figure,” Hillmann said said in another tweet. “We won’t know until our teams perform the talent density audit.”
Even with the volatility of the current market and significant drop in trading volumes, Hillmann said the layoffs “have nothing to do with today’s ‘market conditions’.” The company is still looking for hundreds of positions, the spokesperson said.
This week in web3
Solana’s co-founder sees potential for his blockchain to become the “Apple of crypto.” (TC+)
Solana’s core engineering and ecosystem are aimed at creating a network “that feels like the regular internet, while being an entirely new financial internet,” co-founder Raj Gokal told TechCrunch+. There’s a lot the network does to keep itself fresh and competitive. “The core thesis will be [focused on] new companies, new projects, independent developers,” said Gokal. “We’re still in an ecosystem and a community that’s optimistic about what two developers can do in a garage.”
SEC settles with former Coinbase employee over insider trading charges
The SEC has settled with a former Coinbase product manager and his brother for insider trading, the agency announced Tuesday. Ishan Wahi, the former Coinbase employee, and brother Nikhil Wahi were working on “a plan to act ahead of multiple announcements regarding at least nine crypto asset securities to be made available for trading on the Coinbase platform” , the SEC said. The two brothers were originally charged after the agency filed a complaint on July 21, 2022.
Explaining Blockchain Capital’s Big Bet on an Eyeball Scanning Sphere
We spoke to Blockchain Capital General Partner Spencer Bogart about what gave him confidence in Worldcoin, which aims to create a global ID, a global currency, and an app that facilitates payments, purchases, and transfers. Like many others, we wondered how it can achieve its goals when, right now, its mission rests on convincing millions of people to allow Worldcoin to scan their irises using shiny, tech-dense spheres.
The latest pod
A five-time New York Times best-selling author, he previously created Wine Library, one of the first alcohol e-commerce platforms, in the early 2000s. In 2009, he co-founded VaynerMedia with his younger brother AJ, and today the company serves clients such as PepsiCo, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Chase, and others.
Gary Vee is a “die hard” New York Jets fan (and wants to buy the team one day), as well as an investor in a handful of big companies like Twitter, Venmo and Facebook – which we talk about in the episode.
We dove into a handful of topics around the NFT ecosystem, how Gary Vee got into space and gained traction for his collection, and where he sees the industry going in the long run.
We also talked about:
- The origin story of VeeFriends
- The importance of intellectual property
- Regular adoption
- The future of NFTs
- Advice for other projects
Subscribe Chain reaction on apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to stay up to date with the latest episodes, and leave us a review if you like what you hear!
Follow the money
- Blockchain-based game Illuvium raised another $10 million from Framework Ventures
- PayPal-backed crypto wallet Magic has raised $52 million
- Metaverse-focused MetaZone raised $3 million
- Fiat on-ramp and off-ramp developer Transak raised $20 million in a Series A
- M80 raised $3 million to create a web3-focused esports organization
This list was compiled using information from Messari and TechCrunch’s own reporting.
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