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Crypto start-ups hit by layoffs as falling prices bite

Matthew Field
Cryptocurrency exchanges have been forced to lay off staff due to fluctuating prices - AP

Cryptocurrency start-ups have been laying off large swathes of their workforces as the Bitcoin crash hits fledgling businesses.

Around $280bn (£220bn) has been wiped off the value of Bitcoin this year.

Other digital coins, many of which have been used as funding tools for cryptocurrency start-ups, have suffered similar declines. Steemit, a blogging website funded by Steem, the digital coin, announced it planned to lay off 70pc of its team after its digital coin fell 96pc from its all time high in January.

SpankChain, a coin designed to fund an adult entertainment service, said it had cut its team from around 20 staff and freelancers to eight. In January this year, SpankChain had a market cap of $190m. It is down to just $6m. Hundreds of Initial Coin Offering projects have failed since the start of 2018.

TechCrunch estimated earlier this year that nearly 1,000 projects were “dead”, hacked, fraudulent or had failed to launch their funding rounds.

Coinfloor, a UK-based cryptocurrency exchange, and Kraken, a US Bitcoin exchange, are both said to have laid off a number of staff in the second half of the year.