There is no denying that the times are hard; we are right in the middle of yet another economic recession. Who knew that 2022 would be the year?
Has the crypto industry been affected by this recession in any way? Let’s find out
1. The Coinbase team is reduced by about 18% amid the economic recession
After a 10+ year economic boom, the world seems to be going through an economic recession. Prices have gone up, hiring is slowing down and people are even losing their jobs. It is for this same reason that Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO, announced that they had made a difficult decision to let go of some of their employees.
He cited that all signs are pointing to yet another crypto winter which could last for an extended period. While Coinbase was able to survive previous crypto winters, it still saw great losses hence necessitating this move. According to Armstrong, the firm has been growing too quickly and the employee costs are too high to be managed during these uncertain times. As of early 2021, the firm had about 1,300 employees.
The good news is that all departing employees will receive support in finding a new role as well as a two-week-long severance among other additional support packages. Coinbase joins a growing list of firms that have had to slash their staff amid the ongoing bear market.
2. Bitcoin catches the attention of many in Zimbabwe thanks to a car importing business
The Crypto media went crazy over a Zimbabwean businessman who is making a killing from Bitcoin. Ovidy is a young African man who returned to his native land from America during the pandemic and decided to build a business with Bitcoin at its core. He first learned about Bitcoin while living in the United States. Bitcoin makes him hopeful for the future as he utilizes it in paying P2P remittances to families of friends in Kenya and overseas.
He first about Bitcoin in 2017 and has had to learn about it over the years before he could fully understand it. When the pandemic hit, he had to go back home, jobless and without a clear plan for his life. He briefly considered FOREX trading before he finally decided to invest using Bitcoin. Realized that he could create work and a salary for himself and others. He tapped into his network of contacts and began facilitating the importation of cars from Japan. He deals in BMWs, Toyotas, and Hondas; his clients give him dollars after which he sends Bitcoin to Japanese car dealerships.
He says that Bitcoin is faster and safer compared to traditional banks. He takes a small commission on the sale of cars and balances the dollars he earns with a money transfer service that uses Bitcoin remittance in reserve. He hopes that the people of Zimbabwe will continue to be open to the adoption of Bitcoin for financial freedom.
3. China’s WeChat Bans crypto and NFT-related accounts
In its never-ending hostility towards Crypto, the Chinese government is taking yet another shot at the crypto ecosystem. Recently, WeChat, the country’s most popular messaging and social media platform decided to ban all Crypto ad NFT trading accounts. Any activities relating to crypto intermediaries, pricing, token issuance, and conversion into fiat currencies will be effectively banned. Accounts that fail to comply may either be subject to restrictions or be closed for good depending on the severity.
It is unclear if the authorities forced the company to incorporate these new rules into its terms and conditions. However, it is no secret that China is not friends with crypto. No one knows the actual reason behind this hostility, however, it could be because the government would like to prioritize the use of the digital Yuan instead of other digital assets.
4. The Solana smartphone saga
Solana Mobile which is a subsidiary of the Solana labs, a prominent Blockchain Network, recently launched a flagship Android mobile phone called ‘Saga’. It was created to make crypto and NFT trading easy on smartphones as it is integrated with the Solana Blockchain. It is a smartphone with unique functionalities and features. Its users will also be able to transact in web3 and manage their digital assets such as tokens and NFTs.
Saga offers a 6.67 –inch OLED display, 12 GB RAM, 51 GB storage, and the latest flagship Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform. Pre-orders for Saga require a $100 fully refundable deposit, which will be applied to the “anticipated final cost of $1,000”.
5. The Cristiano Ronaldo Partnership with Binance
Thanks to a recent partnership, Cristiano Ronaldo is set to get football fans into web3. Binance, a successful crypto exchange platform, announced a new, multi-year NFT partnership with the soccer star.
The Portugal and Manchester United forward will be launching a series of NFTs exclusively on the Binance marketplace. According to Binance, the first collection will drop later this year and will feature designs created in collaboration with Ronaldo. Ronaldo will also front a global marketing campaign where he introduces fans to web 3.0 technologies and NFTs. In a post to announce this partnership, Cristiano claimed that he believes that this is an opportunity to own an iconic piece of sports history and that he is committed to changing the NFT game alongside Binance.
6. the University of Cincinnati incorporates the cryptocurrency boom into its curriculum.
The University of Cincinnati is turning the current Crypto craze into an educational curriculum. The programs are funded by a longtime supporter of the University and they will teach about Bitcoin and other digital assets. The University has even established courses around cryptocurrency as part of its curriculum. This is as digital coins continue attracting attention from academic institutions as they become increasingly accepted as an alternative to conventional assets.
The University is working on two new programs that will educate students about cryptocurrencies like BTC and other emerging technologies. Based on reports, the students will be able to obtain hands-on, practical learning in the new field of financial technology. They will learn how to manage cryptocurrencies and how such digital assets impact our economy. Other top universities like MIT and Harvard are also getting on board with the Crypto and Blockchain craze.
7. The closing of Huobi Thailand
Despite several extensions given by the Thai SEC, Huobi Thailand failed to fix system issues. Its operating license was revoked by the Thai SEC consequently leading to the shutting down of its operations. The license was revoked after Huobi failed to comply with the local regulations and then the permanent closure orders came nearly eight months after the regulators suspended its services back in September of last year.
8. Amid the Current Crypto Crash, “Bitcoin Dead” Searches Reach All-Time High
As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to fall, Google searches for “Bitcoin dead” and similar searches reached an all-time high this month. This search trend is a reflection of the anxiety that investors are dealing with after weeks of relentless selloffs. Recessions are on the horizon, inflation is soaring, interest rates are up and the costs of living are crazy. All of this plus the uncertainty around crypto is causing hopelessness and despair among investors.
9. A Japanese film studio announces the creation of a cryptocurrency-based television series.
A Japanese film studio by the name of Noma has announced that it will be producing three feature films centered on Crypto. The first film is already in production and is set to be released in 2024. The trilogy aims to impart knowledge about Crypto through creative storytelling hence the team is working closely with Bitcoin experts. Everyone involved with creation and production is successful in their own right, from the producers, the writers, directors, and the animators. More details about the trilogy will be released later this year.