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Crypto CEOs are quitting their jobs. here’s why

Hello, welcome to Distributed Ledger, our weekly crypto newsletter that hits your inbox every Thursday. I’m Frances Yue, crypto reporter at MarketWatch. I’m going to introduce you to the newest and greatest in the world of digital assets this week.

Over the past few weeks, the CEOs of several major crypto companies have left their positions. I met with RA Farrokhnia, a professor at Columbia Business School, to discuss the reasons for these moves.

Find me on Twitter at @FrancesYue_ to send feedback, or tell us what you think we should cover. You can also reach me via email to share your personal stories with crypto.

Crypto at a Glance

BitcoinBTCUSD,
-0.16%
was down around 5.6% over the past seven days and was trading at around $19,159 on Thursday, according to data from CoinDesk. Ether ETHUSD,
-0.20%
fell 18% over the seven-day period to around $1,306. Dogecoin DOGEUSD Meme Token,
-0.02
tanked 2.8% while another dog-themed token, Shiba Inu SHIBUSD,
-0.18,
traded 8% less than seven days ago.

Cryptographic metrics
The biggest winners

Price

%return in 7 days

Amount

$135.02

33.5%

Tokenize Xchange

$7.64

29.5%

Maker

$725.6

22.1%

XDC network

$0.03

19.6%

Uniswap

$6.38

18.9%

Source: CoinGecko at September 29

The biggest declines

Price

%return in 7 days

Evmos

$1.58

-33.5%

Lido CAD

$1.59

-12.4%

DeFiChain

$0.73

-8.7%

ApeCoin

$5.40

-7.1%

Osmosis

$1.10

-7.0%

Source: CoinGecko as of September 29

Exodus of crypto CEOs

The crypto sector has seen an exodus of chief executives from big companies as falling valuations this year grip the industry.

In early August, Michael Saylor stepped down as CEO of MicroStrategy and assumed a new role as executive chairman. In the same month, Michael Moro stepped down as chief executive of crypto lender Genesis, after its parent company Digital Currency Group filed a $1.2 billion claim against bankrupt digital asset hedge fund Three Arrows. . Meanwhile, Sam Trabucco has stepped down as co-CEO of Alameda Research, the hedge fund of crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried.

Earlier this month, Jesse Powell, co-founder of crypto exchange Kraken, resigned as the company’s chief executive.

On Tuesday, Alex Mashinsky, chief executive of crypto lender Celsius, resigned from his post, amid the company’s bankruptcy proceedings. On the same day, Brett Harrison, president of FTX US, said he was stepping down.

The reasons for these moves can vary, with each company being in a different position during the market downturn. Bankman-Fried’s FTX and Alameda aggressively acquired several struggling crypto companies and assets, while others, like Celsius, filed for bankruptcy.

Still, a shake-up of C suites on such a scale has mirrored changes across the crypto industry as a whole.

First comes market conditions. For C-suite members who took the reins a year or two ago when digital assets were booming, they now face different challenges as bitcoin has lost almost 60% of its value. since the beginning of the year.

“Obviously in the recession things get a little trickier. You need a different kind of management mindset to weather the storm, and various crypto companies are experiencing the experience in a wildly different way,” Farrokhnia noted.

Meanwhile, the crypto industry, born in 2009, has grown, with increasing institutional adoption and also regulatory attention. “It requires a different level of professionalism and maturity in senior management,” Farrokhnia noted. Some early adopters of crypto, who hold strong, libertarian values, may have found their views conflicting with newcomers.

Additionally, the complexity of the crypto space has added to the difficulty of finding new leaders outside of the industry. This explains why, in most cases, successors are company insiders, Farrokhnia said.

The Ethereum ‘vanity address’ hack

About $950,000 in crypto was stolen on Sept. 25 in an attack using a custom address generator called Profanity, according to blockchain security firm PeckShield.

A “custom address” is a personalized cryptocurrency address created by users. Because these addresses are human-generated, rather than a random string of letters and numbers created by a machine, they are more vulnerable to brute force attacks.

According a tweet from blockchain security company PeckShield.

The attack resembles a recent $160 million attack on Wintermute, a major crypto market maker.

MarketWatch’s Anushree Dave wrote more about it here.

Crypto companies, funds

Shares of Coinbase Global Inc.. PIECE OF MONEY,
-7.98%
plunged 9% to $61.27 on Thursday and is down 2.7% over the past five trading sessions. by Michael Saylor MicroStrategy Inc.
MSTR,
-3.92%
shares fell 4.8% on Thursday to $209.90, after rising 9% in the past five days.

mining company Blockchain Riot Inc. RIOT,
-3.41%
the shares were down 4.3% at $7.03 on Thursday, and they are up 10.8% over the past five days. Shares of Marathon Digital Holdings Inc.
MARA,
-1.64%
fell 2.5% to $10.68, while rising 1.2% over the past five days. Another miner Ebang International Holdings Inc.. EBON,
+3.76%
saw its shares rise 0.8% to $0.40 on Thursday, after falling 0.4% over the past five days.

Overstock.com Inc.
OSTK,
-2.15%it is
shares slid 2% to $24.54. Shares traded up 2.9% in the five-day period.

Shares of Block Inc.
SQ,
-5.37%,
formerly known as Square, fell 5.5% to $55.85 and was down 0.2% for the week. Tesla Inc.. TSLA,
-6.81%
shares fell 6.7% to $268.59, down 6.9% over the past five days.

PayPal Holdings Inc.
PYPL,
-2.66%
fell 2.8% to $88.55, with a 0.9% gain over the five-session period. Nvidia Corp.
NVDA,
-4.05%
the shares fell 4.5% to $121.65, with a loss of 3.1% last week.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
AMD,
-6.17%
shares fell 6.5% to $63.77 on Thursday, down 8% from five trading days ago.

Among crypto funds, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF
BITO,
-0.75%
lost 0.5% to $11.99 on Thursday, as its Bitcoin Short Strategy ETF
COCK,
+1.02%
added 0.8% to $38.34. Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF
BTF,
-0.68%
traded down 1.1% at $7.44, while VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF
XBTF,
-0.75%
down 1.4% to $18.82.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust
GBTC,
-3.00%
fell 2.3% to $11.42.

Required readings

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