Circle Cuts Staff, Fundraising Goal as Tether Admits to Buying Bitcoin

Today in the crypto headlines: Circle announced it was cutting staff and its fundraising target; the Ethereum Foundation outlined how it plans on spending $30 million over the coming year; and Tether admits to court it used part of its reserves to buy bitcoin.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $7,939.4 and $257.3; a 0.5% decline and 1.1% increase over the past 24 hours, respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 3,857.4 (-1.3%).

Circle Lays Off 30 Employees, Slashes Fundraising Goal by 40%

Crypto fintech startup Circle has recently laid off thirty employees, according to a tweet by co-founder and chief executive, Jeremy Allaire. The move represents “about 10% of our employees,” Allaire went on to share.

Explaining the impetus for the layoffs, Allaire pointed to “new market conditions, most importantly, an increasingly restrictive regulatory climate in the United States.” Just last week, Circle-owned crypto exchange, Poloniex, announced it would – due to regulatory uncertainty – henceforth disable the trading of nine different cryptocurrencies for U.S. customers.

Hours after news broke of the layoffs, The Block reported the Boston-headquartered Circle recently slashed its reported fundraising goal by 40 percent to $150 million. Existing investors in Circle include Goldman Sachs and cryptocurrency mining giant, Bitmain Technologies.

Ethereum Foundation Details Planned $30 Million 2019 Spend

The Ethereum Foundation revealed how it intends to allocate the $30 million earmarked for developing the Ethereum network over the coming twelve months. In a blog post, the Foundation detailed three areas it will support: future projects, current projects, and developer support. These areas will receive $19 million, $8 million, and $3 million worth of funding, respectively, in the year ahead.

The transparent blog post from the Ethereum Foundation was well-received by the Ethereum community. This itself was significant, for there’d been a growing level of discontent expressed by certain Ethereum pundits, in recent times, in relation to the Ethereum Foundation’s budgetary opaqueness. One such vocalist had been Gnosis and EthHub’s Eric Conner, who today thanked the Foundation for their improved transparency (see below).

Tether Admits to Buying Bitcoin with Some of Its Reserves

Citing obtained court documents, The Block reported that Tether, a stablecoin closely related to Bitfinex, admitted it has historically used some of its reserves to purchase bitcoin and other assets.

David Miller, an attorney representing Bitfinex, was quoted saying, “Tether actually did invest in instruments beyond cash and cash equivalents, including bitcoin.”

The development is the latest of many to have emerged since April 24, when the Office of the New York Attorney General (OAG) issued a court order against iFinex, the parent company of Tether and Bitfinex; alleging Bitfinex had commingled client funds and borrowed money from Tether’s reserves to cover up the shortfall.