It’s been a rough few months for Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group (DCG), and now, one of its exchanges, Luno, announced it was axing 35% of its workforce.
It’s estimated that the firm will cut 330 jobs, mostly in its marketing department, giving some insight into how industry insiders view the growth prospects of exchanges in the near-term future.
Luno has offices in Asia, Africa, and Europe. CEO Marcus Swanepoel made the announcement at 12 p.m. GMT on Wednesday.
Barry Silbert’s empire of lies is crumbling
Luno is the latest Digital Currency Group portfolio firm facing financial constraints. While it has been able to stay afloat for now by making cuts, the broader DCG is in grave danger of collapsing in a catastrophic manner.
Earlier this month, the parent company of Genesis Global Capital, the lending arm of DCG, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The move followed a period of public silence by Silbert and triggered a wave of legal actions, most notably by the Winklevoss Twins, who accused him of refusing to offer creditors a fair deal.
2/ While we have been working around the clock to negotiate an acceptable solution, @BarrySilbert and @DCGco — the parent company of Genesis – continue to refuse to offer creditors a fair deal.
— Cameron Winklevoss (@cameron) January 20, 2023
Digital Currency Group also owns the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, and there is no shortage of speculation about what would happen should it go insolvent. The trust currently holds more than 631.21k BTC worth approximately $14.5 billion, meaning the world’s most expensive digital pet rock would face intense selling pressure should it fold.
DCG portfolio companies such as CoinDesk, Decentraland, Shapeshift, Blockstream, Ledger, Hedera Hashgraph, Ripple Labs, and many others would have to find new homes or fold if Silbert’s empire collapses entirely. In any case, a DCG collapse would have profound and long-lasting consequences for the industry.
Digital Currency Group hijacked Bitcoin, but it didn’t work
In a recent video, industry influencer Chico Crypto did a good job of explaining how Digital Currency Group played an instrumental role in shackling the original Bitcoin protocol, working through companies like Blockstream to implement protocol changes, limit the Bitcoin block size, and silence dissent and debate.
Thankfully, as DCG gets some long-deserved karma, the original Bitcoin protocol has been restored and is thriving. Bitcoin SV already processes millions of transactions daily for fractions of a cent, and a Cambrian explosion of applications utilizing its micropayments capabilities gives us a glimpse of the future.
While the Luno staff who have lost their jobs deserve sympathy, and those who unleashed the chaos deserve jail, everyone should cheer the potential demise of a parasitic monster like the Digital Currency Group. It is the antithesis of everything Bitcoin was supposed to be about, and the backfiring of its own greed is long overdue.
Follow CoinGeek’s Crypto Crime Cartel series, which delves into the stream of groups—from BitMEX to Binance, Bitcoin.com, Blockstream, ShapeShift, Coinbase, Ripple, Ethereum, FTX and Tether—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.
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