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Cryptocurrency companies lay off hundreds amid recession fears

By Jonna Lorenz
The Coinbase logo is displayed on screens in Times Square on April 14, 2021. The company announced Tuesday plans to cut about 18% of its global workforce. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/b66407b43088adb2668d214c29706acb/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The Coinbase logo is displayed on screens in Times Square on April 14, 2021. The company announced Tuesday plans to cut about 18% of its global workforce. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 14 (UPI) -- Cryptocurrency exchanges are laying off hundreds of employees as values plummet amid fears of a recession.

Coinbase will lay off about 1,100 people, or 18% of its global workforce, leaving the company with about 5,000 employees by June 30, according to a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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"We appear to be entering a recession after a 10+ year economic boom," CEO Brian Armstrong said in a blog post. "A recession could lead to another crypto winter, and could last for an extended period."

He said the company has survived four major crypto winters by managing spending through down periods and acknowledged that the company "grew too quickly" in the past 18 months. Coinbase had about 1,250 employees at the beginning of 2021 and has grown about 200% since then.

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The company will incur about $40 million to $45 million in restructuring expenses related to the layoffs.

The announcement comes after BlockFi, said Monday the company would cut about 170 employees, or about 20% of its workforce, and Crypto.com announced plans to cut 5% of its staff.

"Like many others in tech, we've been impacted by the dramatic shift in macroeconomic conditions, which have had a negative impact on our growth rate," BlockFi CEO Zac Prince said.

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Crypto bank Celsius said Sunday it was suspending customer withdrawals and transactions amid volatile market conditions.

The total value of crypto assets fell by 25% during the past month, slipping blow the $1 trillion mark for the first time since early 2021 to $929 billion as of Tuesday morning, according to CoinMarketCap. Total market capitalization was nearly $3 trillion in November.

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