The world’s second-largest crypto exchange by trade volume, FTX, is in expansion mode, while many others feel the pinch as the crypto winter deepens.
On June 2, FTX announced that it was launching an exchange in Japan to service Japanese crypto traders and investors, supporting fast deposits and withdrawals of the Japanese Yen. FTX Japan KK is a licensed Japanese crypto exchange service provider that also has a ‘Type 1 Financial Instruments Business’ license.
Sam Bankman-Fried is serving as Interim CEO of FTX Japan after FTX acquired its parent company, Liquid Group Inc., earlier this year. He commented:
“The acquisition not only gives us a technological advantage, but also allows us to work directly with Japanese regulators in a transparent, constructive and positive manner.”
He added that Japan is a highly regulated market with a potential crypto trading market size of almost $1 trillion. The firm also plans to offer derivatives such as perpetual contracts.
“We look forward to further revolutionizing the Japanese digital asset ecosystem through FTX Japan,” SBF said.
Earlier this week, it was reported that FTX.US was in discussions with Goldman Sachs over derivatives product integration.
Coinbase Freezes New Hires
While FTX is grabbing the bears by the fur and giving them a good shake, Coinbase is doing the opposite. In a blog post on June 3, the firm’s Chief People Officer, LJ Brock, said that in response to the current market conditions and ongoing business prioritization efforts, Coinbase would be extending its hiring pause for the foreseeable future. He added that several accepted offers would also be rescinded.
“After assessing our business priorities, current headcount, and open roles, we have decided to pause hiring for as long as this macro environment requires.”
The company initially paused its hiring plans in mid-May but has now indefinitely put the brakes on them.
Gemini Slashes Staff
Coinbase is not the only crypto company battening down its hatches. On June 2, Gemini announced plans to cut the company’s workforce by 10% in response to the adverse market conditions.
In a memo sent to Gemini staff, the Winklevoss brothers wrote:
“This is where we are now, in the contraction phase that is settling into a period of stasis — what our industry refers to as ‘crypto winter.’ This has all been further compounded by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil. We are not alone.”
Crypto markets have currently retreated 57% from their November 2021 all-time highs.