Crypto CEOs told to display ‘a little humility’ as crash claims more than a thousand jobs

Charley Cooper, former chief operating officer at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has a warning for crypto bosses as the market crumbles: tread carefully.

“Crypto companies need to project a little humility in the face of job losses, hiring freezes and rescinding offers,” said Cooper, who is now managing director at blockchain firm R3. “And if they refuse to show they are learning any lessons, government actors will step in to clamp down on how they operate and how the markets function.”

The comments come amid criticism of crypto bosses as job cuts and market warnings sweep the industry in what has become the second major crypto meltdown in as many months.

READ Hedge funds to crypto traders: ‘Told you it was a bubble’

Coinbase’s chief executive Brian Armstrong came under fire when about 1,100 employees – about a fifth of his workforce – found out that they had lost their jobs via personal email accounts. The company cut access to internal systems in an attempt to avoid leaks.

In an email to workers, Armstrong warned of a “crypto winter”, and had already pulled hundreds of job offers from former employees of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citigroup and BlackRock, among others. and BlockFi have also said they will cut a combined 400 jobs, according to tweets from their chief executives. And crypto exchange Gemini said earlier this month that it will cull 10% of its workforce. The company’s billionaire founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss blamed market conditions.

“Crypto companies are great firms to work for when the market is on the up – but many have had difficulty handling the downturn, especially when it comes to personnel issues,” R3’s Cooper said. “Real people are losing their jobs, and hurting as a result.”

READ ‘Whale hunters’ target Celsius as crypto crashes again. Here’s what’s next

Regulators have long had their eye on cryptocurrencies — which have tracked the volatility of risky tech stocks instead of acting like the digital gold-like haven asset touted by proponents. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler was recently asked if the recent rout in cryptocurrency prices added new urgency to the agency’s concerns about the market. He said: “The urgency is highlighted, but the urgency has been there.”

Jay Hao, the chief executive of another exchange, OKX, who describes himself as a “crypto visionary”, had more specific advice for investors. He tweeted: “Be mindful of your leveraged positions in the extremely volatile market. Anything can happen. Things can always get worse. Adequate risk management is the best way to survive. Stay safe.”

Meanwhile, Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao said he’s hiring. The chief of the world’s biggest crypto exchange said he’s planning to bring 2,000 more employees on board. Still, he noted the “bloodbath” in a tweet on 15 June, and warned investors: “Hunker down. Make sure you can last.”

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Alex Daniel

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