Cryptocurrency crash spreads splits between rich and amateur traders

Englewood, Colorado — The crypto market was devastated. However, Tyler and Cameron Winklevos were interfering.

The billionaire twins, best known for their supporting roles in Facebook creation, ran around the stage. New cover bandMars Junction, last week at a concert venue in the suburbs of Denver, Coast-to-coast tour.. They are The Killers’Mr. Brightside and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin. Tickets cost $ 25.

Winklevosses was in the limelight as a locker shortly after Gemini, a $ 7 billion company that provides a platform for buying and selling digital currencies, fired 10% of its staff. Since early May, more than $ 700 billion has been wiped out by a devastating cryptocurrency crash, investors have collapsed and companies like Gemini have been forced to cut costs.

“Restrictions are the mother of innovation, and difficult times are a compulsory function to focus,” said Winklevosse, 40. In a memo About this month’s layoffs.

Cryptocurrencies have long held up as a means of economic empowerment. Enthusiastic fans are transforming digital coins, which are exchanged using a network of computers that validate transactions, rather than centralized entities like banks, for people of all backgrounds outside the traditional financial system. Advertise as a means to achieve good wealth.

But perhaps for all the principles of egalitarianism, the cryptocurrency collapse revealed a yawning split: top executives are relatively unharmed as crypto company employees lose their jobs and general investors suffer huge losses. Appeared in.

No crypto investor has completely escaped the recession. However, as prices soared over the past two years, a small group of industry giants have accumulated enormous wealth and provided an enviable cushion. Many of them bought Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies a few years ago when prices were only a small part of their current value. Some people fixed their profits early and sold some of their crypto holdings. Others ran listed crypto companies and either monetized their stock or invested in real estate.

In contrast, many amateur traders flooded the crypto market during a pandemic where prices had already begun to skyrocket. Some people have devoted themselves to saving their lives, leaving them vulnerable to crashes. Thousands flocked to work for a crypto company, thinking it was a ticket to new wealth. Now many of them have seen their savings disappear or have lost their jobs.

Todd Phillips, director of financial regulation and corporate governance at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, said the impact of the cryptocurrency crash follows other patterns of financial recession.

“No matter what, those who have money will be fine,” he said.

Forbes, the 16 wealthiest cryptocurrencies Billionaire’s total wealth exceeded $ 135 billion in March Estimated.. As of this week, the total was about $ 76 billion, but most of the losses were the CEO of Binance, the single billionaire crypto exchange, whose $ 65 billion wealth shrank to $ 17.4 billion. The person in charge, Changpeng Zhao, suffered.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevos, their wealth $ 4 billion Each one before the crash was worth it $ 3.3 billion According to Forbes this week. They declined to comment.

For a private investor like Ben Thompson, 33, the reality is different. Thompson, who lives in Sydney, Australia, lost about $ 45,000 (half of his savings) in a crash. He was planning to start working on cryptocurrencies from 2018 and use the money to open a brewery.

“Many people who seem to have a very good reputation had a lot of confidence,” Thompson said. “Small people are used.”

The non-uniform effects of the crash are also evident within crypto companies. Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, was launched in April 2021 when interest in digital currencies soared. As part of the company’s listing, CEO Brian Armstrong has sold about $ 300 million in shares. In december, he Reportedly I bought a $ 133 million real estate property near Los Angeles on Bel-Air.

Since April 2021, six of Coinbase’s top executives have sold more than $ 850 million in shares, according to Equilar, which tracks executive compensation. Chief Operating Officer Emilie Choi has won approximately $ 235 million, and Chief Operating Officer Surojit Chatterjee has sold $ 110 million in shares. Coinbase shares, which peaked at around $ 357 in November, are currently trading at $ 51.

This month, Coinbase worked to reduce prices and consumer interest in cryptocurrencies, firing 18% of its staff, or about 1,100 workers.Armstrong said the company had “Overemployment.”

Coinbase has also canceled hundreds of jobs.Some of these new hires have already quit their previous jobs or depend on Coinbase. work visa..

Product Manager Michael Doss got a job at Coinbase in May after a few months of interviews. When Coinbase regained the offer, he canceled the lease and arranged to move to the UK to join the company’s London business.

“I have to unleash it all,” said Dos, 33. “This is what I saw as a career-building move.”

A Coinbase spokeswoman declined to comment on the layoffs and canceled offers. She said many of the stock sales were part of the direct listing process, and executives “maintain a significant position in the company, reflecting their commitment.”

The cryptocurrency crash began in May when an experimental coin called TerraUSD lost almost all its value almost overnight and also destroyed its sister digital currency, Luna. The collapse has destroyed some retailers who were spending their savings on Terra USD through the Anchor Protocol, a lending program that allows investors to deposit coins and receive interest rates as high as 19.5%.

TerraUSD was launched by Terraform Labs, a startup funded by venture capital firms such as Galaxy Digital and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Some of those investors raised money before the project collapsed.Galaxy digital Said in filing Prior to the crash, Luna’s holdings were the “largest contributor” to the $ 355 million profit in the first quarter. (The company declined to comment on this article.)

The impact of the Luna-Terra crash has spread, hitting the prices of the two most valuable digital currencies, Bitcoin and Ether.Last year, 30-year-old Elliott Reeveman musician In Austin, Texas, hoping to make nest eggs, they started investing some of all their salaries in some of these currencies. Of his $ 10,000 investment, about $ 3,000 remains.

“People say this technology will level the competition,” Reeveman said. “It is clear that many people are entering the other side of the trade.”

The crash was exacerbated this month when crypto bank Celsius Network announced that it would stop withdrawing. As prices went down, Gemini became the first major crypto company to announce layoffs, followed by BlockFi, and Coinbase.

Still, unlike Coinbase, the majority of these crypto companies are privately held, and their value has little to do with daily price fluctuations. This provides protection for some corporate executives.

“My personal net worth is probably not that much affected,” said Ivan Soto-Wright, CEO of MoonPay. Start of $ 3.4 billion crypto payment.. “We have a fair amount of cash reserve.”

Mr. Sotrite recently bought According to Zillow, this $ 38 million, seven-bedroom mansion in Miami features a spa and an outdoor kitchen. He said he was trying to build a studio where artists working with MoonPay could come to make music.

“It’s like a hacker’s house,” he said. “It was a good investment.”

Winklevosses began stockpiling Bitcoin in 2012 when prices were below $ 10. Even after the crash, it remains a very profitable investment for them. Bitcoin peaked at nearly $ 70,000 in November and is now approaching $ 20,000. In 2014, Winklevosses founded Gemini and has since raised $ 400 million from investors.

The brothers started their band, Mars Junction, as a pandemic project.They started touring as the crypto market collapsed this month show Asbury Park, NJ

“The deal I made with myself was that this would be fun,” said lead singer Tyler Winklevoss. I wrote in a blog post About the band.

Last week, about 50 spectators saw them perform at the Gothic Theater in Engelwood. Two women appeared on Harvard sweatshirts purchased on eBay. This is a homage to the campus where Winklevosse played a joust with Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook dominance. At the shop, branded products such as hats, T-shirts, and tote bags were sold. According to Tyler’s blog post, some will be sent to MusiCares, a charity that helps MusiCares recover from addiction.

During the 90-minute set, Winklevosse repeated a series of rock classics, and Cameron played the guitar. A small group danced in front of the stage while the band covered the Red Hot Chili Peppers song.

“Striking me,” Tyler barked at Mike. “You can’t hurt me.”

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