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Winklevoss twins Twins, who cut 10%, say that the “crypto winter” is here

Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss (LR), the creators of the crypto exchange Gemini Trust Co. on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a cryptocurrency conference held at the Mana Convention Center in Wynwood on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty pictures

Billionaire bitcoiners Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss lay off 1[ads1]0% of the workforce on Gemini, a first for the US-based cryptocurrency exchange and custodian.

The twins announced in a blog post on Thursday morning that the industry is in a “contraction phase” known as “crypto winter” which has been “further intensified by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical unrest”.

“We are not alone,” the memo continued. Other crypto exchanges Coinbase recently reported that revenues had fallen 27% from a year ago, similar to total usage.

It has been some brutal weeks for the crypto market. Half a trillion dollars was erased from the sector’s market value when terraUSD, one of the most popular US dollar-denominated stable currencies, imploded virtually overnight. It is unclear whether this recent route marks the next crypto winter (a perennial bear market that arises on a cyclical basis for the crypto asset class), although falling trading volumes on crypto exchanges are a sign that we may be heading in that direction.

The last so-called cryptocurrency winter went from 2018 to the autumn of 2020 when the value of cryptocurrencies plummeted, and there were many redundancies.

Gemini – which has been in existence since 2014 and is valued at $ 7.1 billion at its last round of funding – has 1,033 people on the payroll, according to Pitchbook, which means around 100 employees are affected by today’s layoffs. CNBC contacted Gemini to ask for the exact number, but the press team declined to comment beyond the blog post.

As for the next steps, Gemini has closed its physical offices today to protect the privacy of employees. Affected team members will receive a calendar invitation for individual conversations about separation packages and health benefits. On Friday, the remaining employees will participate in a “company-wide standup” to talk about the future.

The note says that Gemini wants to focus only on products that are crucial to their mission – and team leaders will consider whether their teams are the “right size” for the “current, turbulent market conditions that are likely to persist for some time.”

“Today is a tough day, but one that will make Gemini better in the long run,” the brothers wrote in the note for the entire staff.

Other fintech start-ups such as Robinhood and BitMEX have recently cut employees.

But even as crypto companies reduce their lists, venture capitalists continue to pour money into the crypto ecosystem. Andreessen Horowitz recently announced a new $ 4.5 billion fund dedicated to supporting crypto and blockchain companies, and Binance Labs (the company’s venture arm) has raised $ 500 million for a fund dedicated to investing in the launch of Web3.

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