The collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to have knock-on effects throughout the crypto industry, with multiple crypto-focused companies reporting significant amounts of their capital stuck on FTX.
Between Nov. 11 to 14, three crypto companies announced large losses, with one of them having to lay off workers to deal with the crisis.
On Nov. 11, crypto hedge fund Galois Capital announced it had “significant funds” stuck on FTX, with a Nov. 12 Financial Times report that said a possible $50 million worth of Galois’ assets were stuck on the exchange.
Other crypto-focused companies have reported their funds arestuck on the now-bankrupt exchange.
New Huo Technology, the owner of the Hong Kong-based crypto platform Hbit Limited announced on Nov. 14 it failed to withdraw $18.1 million worth of cryptocurrency before FTX stopped processing withdrawals.
$13.2 million of this loss are digital assets owned by Hbit users with the company saying it would continue to take steps to “withdraw the cryptocurrency as soon as possible,” bit admitted due to FTX’s bankruptcy filings the crypto “may not [be] able to be withdrawn from FTX.”
According to the announcement, Li Lin, the controlling shareholder of the company and founder of the Huobi crypto exchange, agreed to loan up to $14 million to the company for it to use in processing withdrawals. However, the company does not yet know what the financial impact of FTX’s bankruptcy will be if it is never able to withdraw the funds.
Nigerian Web3 startup Nestcoin also announced it failed to withdraw funds from FTX with the company’s CEO, Yele Bademosi, posting to Twitter on Nov. 14 a letter previously shared with investors.
The letter detailed that Nestcoin will lay off workers “as we held our assets (cash and stablecoins) at FTX to manage our operational expenses” and it no longer has the funds to pay some staff.
Previously crypto data aggregator platform CoinGecko warned on Nov. 13 that layoffs across the crypto sector could increase in the coming months when the “full impact” of FTX’s sudden collapse takes effect.
On November 11, FTX said roughly 130 companies in its FTX Group including its United States entity FTX.US and sister trading firm Alameda Research declared they would file for bankruptcy in the U.S. after FTX suffered a liquidity crisis and was unable to process user withdrawals, leaving its customers without access to their funds held on the exchange.
Its Bahamas-based subsidiary, FTX Digital Markets had its assets frozen by the local securities regulator on Nov. 10 and liquidators appointed to safeguard its funds while the bankruptcy proceedings are undertaken.
The fall of crypto exchange FTX and potential resulting contagion could lead to an acceleration of crypto-company layoffs in the coming months, recruitment specialists warn.
A Nov. 14 report from crypto data aggregator platform CoinGecko found that as of Nov. 13, the crypto space has seen 4,695 employees let go in 2022 so far, presenting 4% of staff cuts across all “technology startups.”
However, the authors of the report warn that crypto layoffs could increase in the coming months when the “full impact” of FTX’s sudden collapse takes effect:
“With the collapse of FTX since November 2 and its full impact on the cryptocurrency space still unfolding, further cryptocurrency layoffs may occur in the months to follow.”
Speaking to Cointelegraph, CryptoRecruit founder Neil Dundon argues that while FTX’s events will cause some layoffs, it hasn’t changed the broader trend that crypto recruitment follows crypto prices.
“Layoffs have been consistent effectively following the same trend as crypto prices. FTX hasn’t changed that broader trend albeit a tragic event,” he said, adding:
“There will be layoffs because of it but that will present opportunities for good projects to scoop up good talent which we are collecting.”
Kevin Gibson, the founder of recruitment firm Proof of Search, was less optimistic, sharing that he had one candidate that was due to start employment today but had his offer “pulled” during the first call with the company.
Gibson said it was hard to comment on how the FTX collapse will shake out as it’s “changing daily” but said his candidate’s experience “will not be an isolated incident.”
Companies across the crypto sector have already undergone a number of layoffs throughout the year as a result of the market downturn.
Among the most recent staff cuts in the industry include payment processor Stripe’s layoff of 1,000 employees, Flow blockchain developer Dapper Lab’s 22% cut and venture capital firm Digital Currency Group’s 10% layoff. All layoffs took effect in early November.
Digital asset-focused investment firm Galaxy Digital was also reported to be eyeing a 20% cut on Nov. 1.
Coinbase is understood to have cut another 60 staff on Nov. 10, according to Yahoo Finance.
The latest CoinGecko report follows an earlier Nov. 4 report, which looked into the cities most impacted by cryptocurrency layoffs.
At the top of the list was San Francisco — home to Silicon Valley, one of the world’s largest technology and innovation hubs — which was followed by Dubai, New York City and Singapore.
Australia’s financial markets regulator has suspended FTX Australia’s financial license following the appointment of a voluntary administrator to help nearly 30,000 Australians and 132 Australian companies get their funds back from FTX.
The announcement was made by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Nov. 16 local time, which suspended the Australian Financial Services (AFS) license of FTX’s local entity until May 15, 2023.
Before its suspension, FTX Australia’s AFS license permitted it to create a market for derivatives and foreign exchange contracts to Australian-based retail and wholesale clients. Australian traders who signed up to trade digital assets were routed through FTX Australia.
FTX Australia has however, been permitted to provide limited financial services that strictly relate to the termination of existing derivative contracts with its clients until Dec. 19.
The suspension comes as John Mouawad, Scott Langdon and Rahul Goyal of Sydney-based investment and advisory firm KordaMentha were appointed as voluntary administrators to provide restructuring services to FTX Australia and its subsidiary FTX Express on Nov. 11.
KordaMentha will attempt to recoup the funds of nearly 30,000 Australian investors and 132 Australian companies due to the catastrophic FTX fallout, according to a Nov. 14 report in the Australian Financial Review (AFR).
The report added that FTX Australia employees have been cooperating with KordaMentha’s administrators to resolve the matter. FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried are listed as one of the three directors of FTX Australia.
The suspension of FTX Australia’s customer-facing operations comes nearly eight months after it was established on March 20, the firm also set up a Sydney-based office for its five employees.
Last wee130 firms tied to FTX including FTX US and its partner trading firm Alameda Research filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Code on Nov. 11, the same day that Bankman-Fried also resigned as FTX’s CEO.
ASIC noted that FTX Australia has the right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to challenge ACIS’s decision.
Cointelegraph contacted ASIC and FTX for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
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