Jeremy Allaire's Circle Lays Off 10% of Staff amid Prickly US Regulation

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.

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.”

There was also a bit of hilarity, with a person wondering why Allaire and Circle don’t just abolish the federal reserve.

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.

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:

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Last modified (UTC): May 22, 2019 6:41 PM

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P. H. Madore @bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to bitillionaire+phm@gmail.com. He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.

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