One of Asia’s biggest lenders and trading platforms of crypto has canceled performance-based bonuses for 2022 due to slower growth and market uncertainty, per a report by Bloomberg.
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Last week the news service reported the firm will slash its workforce to fewer than 400 from its current 700 employees. The company’s employment peaked earlier this year at 1,100.
In addition, it was reported the crypto platform was to pause raising a $100 million funding round. Crypto funding has been down of late.
Amber last raised a $200 million Series B+ round in February led by investment company Temasek, with participation from existing shareholders including Sequoia China, Pantera Capital, Tiger Global Management, Tru Arrow Partners and Coinbase Ventures among others.
The round valued the company at $3 billion. Amber has raised a total of $328 million, per the company.
Fallout from FTX’s fall
Amber is just the latest to announce cuts after FTX’s collapse.
Early last month, FTX saw a run of withdrawals after prices on its own token dropped like a rock. Despite being the fourth-largest crypto exchange at the time, the FTX empire was thrown into bankruptcy — with allegations CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried used customer deposits on the exchange to invest with his Alameda Research hedge fund platform.
The fall has set off an FTX-induced contagion in the industry. Just this month, crypto exchanges Kraken, Bybit and Swyftx announced they would be laying off 30% or more of their staff. In a letter to employees, Swyftx’s CEO cited the possibility of more “black swan-type events” and trading volumes likely falling in the first half of 2023 as reasons for the cuts, according to Bloomberg.
Federal prosecutors have charged Bankman-Fried with eight criminal counts after arresting him in the Bahamas on Monday. In addition, the SEC filed charges against Bankman-Fried for “orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors,” while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed charges against Bankman-Fried, FTX and Alameda Research for fraud and material misrepresentations.
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Illustration: Dom Guzman
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