Crypto News Headlines (03-Jun-2022)

Coinbase (COIN) is the latest crypto firm to announce cutbacks.

In a blog post written by Chief People Officer L.J. Brock, Coinbase said Thursday it “will extend our hiring pause for both new and backfill roles for the foreseeable future and rescind a number of accepted offers.”

The cutbacks come “in response to the current market conditions and ongoing business prioritization efforts,” he wrote.

The cost-cutting measures will see Coinbase rescind “a number of accepted offers” to prospects yet to start, and extend the two-week hiring pause “for as long as this macro environment requires.”

The hiring freeze is a continuation of a plan announced last month. The latest announcement comes after fellow exchange Gemini announced Thursday it was laying off 10% of its staff, or roughly 100 people.

New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a warning about investing in cryptocurrencies Thursday. The official Twitter account of the New York Attorney General’s Office tweeted:

The cryptocurrency market is extremely unpredictable. Just last month, the market reached record lows and investors lost hundreds of billions.

James added: “New Yorkers should be cautious and think twice before putting their hard-earned money into this unstable market.”

Last year, James shut down cryptocurrency trading platform Coinseed. She also took action against two crypto lending platforms.

The New York attorney general’s warning followed weeks of cryptocurrency sell-off. However, many people on Twitter disputed her claim that the crypto market reached record lows last month. At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at $30,505.32, up over 3% in the past seven days but down 21% over the past 30 days.

Popular musician The Weeknd first dove into the NFT scene early last year as the market was heating up, and he’s continued to make moves since then. The latest of these is enlisting the world’s biggest crypto exchange to back his upcoming world tour and launch NFTs around it.

Today, Binance and The Weeknd announced that the exchange will sponsor the artist’s After Hours ‘Til Dawn world tour, which begins in July and will kick off in United States and Canada. A Binance release describes it as a “crypto-powered tour,” and claims it will be the first global concert tour to tap Web3 technology for fan experiences.

Riot Blockchain (RIOT) continued to raise cash via the sale of bitcoin (BTC), unloading more than half of the bitcoin it mined in May.

One of the largest of the publicly traded bitcoin miners, Riot in May mined 466 bitcoins, about 8% fewer than April but more than double the year-ago level.. The company sold 250 bitcoins in May, raising about $7.5 million, or an implied price of roughly $30,000 each.

It’s the third-consecutive month of bitcoin sales for the previously confirmed hodler, as the company also sold 250 bitcoins in April and 200 in March. Reflecting the near continuous decline in the price of bitcoin of late, those sales raised $10 million and $9.4 million, respectively, versus the $7.5 million raised in May.

As of the end of May, Riot still held about 6,536 bitcoin on its balance sheet.

With the bear market still in force in both traditional finance and crypto, capital markets are turning unfriendly, and Riot is hardly the only miner raising cash from the sale of its mined bitcoin.

Kenyan energy company KenGen has put out a call to Bitcoin (BTC) miners to move nearby and buy its excess renewable power capacity.

KenGen claims 86% of its energy is generated from renewable sources, mostly geothermal from pockets of ground source heat in the Great Rift Valley. Local news outlet The Standard reported that KenGen has space at its new industrial park in Olkaria, near its flagship geothermal power station, which could be rented to Bitcoin miners.

The acting director of geothermal development at KenGen, Peketsa Mwangi, said that his company was willing and eager to have the miners call Kenya home:

“We’ll have them here because we have the space and the power is near, which helps with stability.”

Despite his enthusiasm, there have not yet been any reports of miners looking to go to Kenya.

The New York State Senate passed a bill targeting proof-of-work (PoW) mining early Friday morning in an effort to address some of the environmental concerns seen around cryptocurrencies.

The bill, which was passed by the state Assembly last month, would impose a two-year moratorium on any new PoW mining projects powered by carbon-based fuel in the Empire State, though existing mining firms or ones currently undergoing the permit renewal process would be allowed to continue operations. The Senate voted 36-27 in favor of the bill.

According to the bill’s Democratic sponsor, Sen. Kevin Parker, there is currently only one such plant in current operation, which would not be impacted by the bill. He added that there is one pending application, which may be put on hold until the study has concluded.

During the moratorium, the state will conduct a study on the potential environmental impacts of proof-of-work mining.

On the same day that rival crypto exchange Gemini confirmed layoffs, Coinbase announced today that it will continue its hiring freeze amid a tumultuous recent market for both cryptocurrency and tech stocks. Furthermore, the firm will rescind some job offers for employees who had accepted positions but had not yet started working.

Coinbase first announced plans in May to slow hiring, but today’s blog post from L.J. Brock, Coinbase’s chief people officer, confirms that the company will take a more severe turn.

“As these discussions have evolved, it’s become evident that we need to take more stringent measures to slow our headcount growth,” Brock wrote. “Adapting quickly and acting now will help us to successfully navigate this macro environment and emerge even stronger, enabling further healthy growth and innovation.”

Two out of the top 10 largest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume will expand into new markets, with obtaining a provisional crypto license in Dubai and FTX launching in Japan. announced on Thursday that the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) provided the exchange with provisional approval of its virtual asset license, giving the company the go-ahead based on initial compliance checks.

The exchange said that VARA will carry out further due diligence and other mandated requirements before its full operating license is issued, which it expects to happen in the “near term.” said in March it would create a regional office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) largest city after it enacted new laws for crypto and created VARA with the goal of making Dubai a global hub for crypto.

To give women residing in Abu Dhabi the opportunity to expand their knowledge base and ultimately explore the Web3 world, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and Access Abu Dhabi have teamed up with NFT domain name provider Unstoppable Domains. 

Women of Web3, a powerhouse group of disruptive female US tech entrepreneurs, made the revelation during a visit to Abu Dhabi.

 Therefore, women residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital will have the chance to explore the Web3 space through free crypto domains. Moreover, the initiative aims to bridge the gender gap because approximately 5% to 7% of all crypto users are women. 

 Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, the acting director general of ADIO, welcomed the move and said:

“Abu Dhabi is ensuring the future of Web3 is built around a powerful infrastructure that appeals to all members of the community. By supporting initiatives that invite and uplift women, we can champion diversity early in the Web3 era.”

The State Revenue Committee (SRC), a regulatory body responsible for tax and customs services in Armenia, has turned to the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA), urging the monetary authority to ensure the country’s crypto market is regulated. Speaking in the Armenian parliament, the head of the agency, Rustam Badasyan, elaborated:

Without regulating this area, we allow shady transactions to be made and there have been examples of both tax evasion and money laundering using cryptocurrencies.

The SRC official made the statement during parliamentary hearings devoted to the execution of last year’s state budget, the financial and banking news portal reported on Wednesday. The committee works closely with the CBA and oversees the Customs Service and the Tax Service of the small South Caucasus nation.