Monthly crypto exchange volume tumbled in May, hitting 32-month low

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Although there are a lot of builders in the crypto space, the total money being invested into the crypto market has hit 32-month lows in May.

Cryptocurrency monthly exchange volume, which calculates spot market volume across all crypto exchanges, was $439.42 billion in May, down over 27% from $604.88 billion in April, according to data from The Block.

Last month’s volume was the lowest level since October 2020 at $222.7 billion, the data showed.

Binance, the largest exchange, saw about $218 billion in monthly exchange volume during May, dropping about 26% from $293.83 billion in the previous month. Potentially as a result of the bear market and decreased demand, the exchange shared that it’s reevaluating its workforce headcount ahead of future market cycles.

Over the past six years, the exchange grew from 30 employees to a team of almost 8,000 employees across the globe, a Binance spokesperson told TechCrunch.

“As we prepare for the next major bull cycle, it has become clear that we need to focus on talent density across the organization to ensure we remain nimble and dynamic,” the Binance spokesperson added. “This is not a case of rightsizing, but rather, reevaluating whether we have the right talent and expertise in critical roles, and therefore we will still be seeking to fill hundreds of open roles.”

The reevaluation will also include “looking at certain products and business units to ensure our resources are allocated properly to reflect the evolving demands of users and regulators.”

This statement comes after a tweet on Wednesday by reporter Colin Wu that said multiple sources confirmed that Binance has started layoffs. While the actual number is “uncertain,” the exchange may have laid off as many as 20% of its roughly 8,000 employees.

Patrick Hillmann, Binance chief communications officer, also disputed the claim in his own tweet thread and said the company is not cutting 20% of employees “as a cost-cutting measure.”

The number of employees who were laid off could be “a much smaller figure,” Hillmann said in another tweet. “We won’t know until our teams conduct the talent density audit.”

Even with the volatility of the current market and exchange volumes down substantially, Hillmann said the layoffs have “nothing to do with ‘market conditions’ today.” The company is still looking to fill hundreds of roles, the spokesperson said.

This week in web3

Solana’s co-founder sees potential for its blockchain to be the ‘Apple of crypto’ (TC+)

Solana’s core engineering and ecosystem is focused on creating a network “that feels like the regular internet, when it’s an entirely new financial internet,” co-founder Raj Gokal told TechCrunch+. There’s lots that the network is doing to keep itself fresh and competitive. “The core thesis is going to be [focused on] new businesses, new projects, independent developers,” Gokal said. “We are still in an ecosystem and a community that is optimistic about what two developers in a garage can do.”

SEC settles with former Coinbase employee over insider trading charges

The SEC has settled charges with a former Coinbase product manager and his brother for engaging in insider trading, the agency announced Tuesday. Ishan Wahi, the former Coinbase employee, and brother Nikhil Wahi engaged in “a scheme to trade ahead of multiple announcements regarding at least nine crypto asset securities that would be made available for trading on the Coinbase platform,” according to the SEC. The two brothers were originally charged after the agency filed a complaint on July 21, 2022.

Explaining Blockchain Capital’s big bet on an eyeball-scanning orb

We talked with Blockchain Capital General Partner Spencer Bogart about what gave him confidence in Worldcoin, which aims to create a global ID, a global currency and an app that enables payment, purchases and transfers. Like many others, we wondered how it can achieve its goals when, right now at least, its mission relies on convincing millions of people to allow Worldcoin to scan their irises using glossy, tech-dense orbs.

The latest pod

For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk, better known as Gary Vee. He is the chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia and NFT collection VeeFriends.

He’s a five-time New York Times bestselling author and previously created Wine Library, one of the first e-commerce platforms for alcohol, in the early 2000s. In 2009, he co-founded VaynerMedia with his younger brother AJ, and today the company services clients like PepsiCo, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Chase and others.

Gary Vee is a “die hard” New York Jets fan (and wants to buy the team one day), as well as an investor in a handful of major companies like Twitter, Venmo and Facebook — which we talk about in the episode.

We dove into a handful of topics surrounding the NFT ecosystem, how Gary Vee got into the space and gained traction for his collection, and where he sees the sector going long term.

We also talked about:

  • VeeFriends’ origin story
  • The importance of intellectual property
  • Mainstream adoption
  • The future of NFTs
  • Advice for other projects

Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the latest episodes, and please leave us a review if you like what you hear!

Follow the money

  1. Blockchain-based game Illuvium raised an additional $10 million from Framework Ventures
  2. PayPal-backed crypto wallet Magic raised $52 million
  3. Metaverse-focused MetaZone raised $3 million
  4. Fiat on-ramp and off-ramp developer Transak raised $20 million in a Series A
  5. M80 raised $3 million to create a web3-focused esports organization

This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.

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