By CCN: Bitcoin has been booming lately, but Circle, the parent company of crypto exchange Poloniex, announced yesterday afternoon that about 30 employees are leaving as part of “organizational changes.” Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire cited an increasingly burdensome regulatory environment in the United States as part of the impetus for the move.
Today we made organizational changes at Circle and eliminated approximately 30 positions, which is about 10% of our employees. We made these changes in response to new market conditions, most importantly, an increasingly restrictive regulatory climate in the United States.
— Jeremy Allaire (@jerallaire) May 21, 2019
Circle: Regulations Are Strangling U.S. Crypto Industry
The announcement follows a blog post by Jeremy Allaire in which he decries the regulatory situation for cryptocurrency in the United States. The Circle CEO wrote:
“Innovators, including those working around the clock at Circle and many other companies in the U.S. and abroad, have continued to transform what’s possible with crypto and blockchain technologies. Unfortunately, regulation has failed to keep up. […] [L]awmakers who take the time to learn about crypto and blockchain technology recognize its economic potential. […] [I]nnovation happens quickly and global competition is fierce. We urge lawmakers to recognize the unparalleled economic power that permissionless innovation has unleashed and to act to let crypto and blockchain technologies flourish. We know lawmakers want to support economic growth and want them to cease the opportunity to lead the charge.”
The Trump Administration, embroiled in the fallout from the Mueller investigation, has been extremely quiet on the issue of cryptocurrency or blockchain’s difficulty to flourish in the Land of the Free. Bitcoin’s overall future remains uncertain, with some politicians suggesting permissive legislation like the Token Taxonomy Act and others calling for an all-out ban.
Bull Market Layoffs Met With Hostility
Reactions to the tweet were mostly negative. Much of the response was criticism for Circle’s acquisition of Poloniex, which one Twitter person tied directly to Circle’s “failure.”
Own your failure.
You bet on scam ICOs and shitcoins over Bitcoin, and you lost.
— Ragnar Lifthrasir 🏴 (@Ragnarly) May 21, 2019
There was also a bit of hilarity, with a person wondering why Allaire and Circle don’t just abolish the federal reserve.
have you thought about setting up a plan to put an end to the FED and help overthrow these thieves that formed the federal reserve through private banking of JP morgan and rockefellers, asking for a friend.
— MartusMinistry (@MartusMinistry) May 21, 2019
Most of the employees laid off are reportedly leaving Circle’s New York and Boston offices. Circle has grown into a multi-national company as a result of its Poloniex acquisition, but those who were laid off represent a whopping 10% of its workforce.
Circle entered the market with the value proposition of quickly acquiring cryptocurrency.
Remember when Circle would allow you to purchase/sell #Bitcoin using your debit card …yeah, you guys scrapped that a few years ago. Bad decision. BTC wins.
— DeeList (@DeeList7) May 21, 2019
The company no longer allows debit card purchases of bitcoin, while its primary competitor Coinbase does. Circle is the issuer and backer of stablecoin USDC, of which Coinbase has been very supportive.
The firm boasts more than 8 million customers and $200 billion in volume.
Some speculate that Circle is clearing up room for more lawyers and compliance officers.
News of layoffs is not what we would typically expect during a bullish market. As to the employees now on the job hunt, the current bull attitude is likely to yield job opportunities galore. People even inquired about this on Allaire’s Twitter post:
Any chance you could put together a mailing list for these former employees so other crypto firms could recruit them?
— Ryan Lackey (@octal) May 21, 2019
If there are engineers who are looking to stay in the industry, we'd love to speak with them!
— Qiao Wang (@QWQiao) May 21, 2019