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Revolut goes on hiring spree in Europe, shutting down US crypto operation


Online broker and challenger bank Revolut says it is still recruiting heavily in Europe and the UK, with a projected 1000+ vacancies being created between now and the end of the year. The broker reported that it has received over 750,000 job applications so far this year.

According to sources close to the broker, over 20% of the new hires will be into its expanding cryptocurrency trading division. The hiring spree has been announced despite the firm’s wrestling match with some regulators over its banking ambitions and its decision to exit the US market, which is looking increasingly unfriendly to crypto.

Revolut to shut down US cryptocurrency trading in October

Revolut has already confirmed that it is going to shut down its US cryptocurrency trading operations by the first week in October. The company has, however, been authorised by the FCA and is planning to expand the range of digital assets services it provides to UK and European clients.

Further roles will be added at the company’s Indian operation, as well as sites in Poland and Spain.

Cryptocurrency trading has provided a big slice of Revolut’s revenues over the period 2020-21 and helped the challenger bank to reach profitability. The company made the decision this summer to suspend the ability of US residents to buy crypto from 2 September. All trading functionality for US clients will be shut down from 3 October. American clients who still have open positions at that point will have their holdings automatically liquidated at market prices.

Bakkt, which partners with Revolut on cryptocurrency services in the US, will have responsibility for unwinding any outstanding US crypto accounts.

SEC’s Gensler is gunning for crypto

Revolut blamed the uncertain regulatory environment in the US for its decision to back out of the market there. A series of SEC-driven enforcement actions against the likes of Cardano and Solana has meant that Revolut had already delisted many of the cryptocurrencies deemed unregistered securities by the US regulator. The decision to close up entirely must have been aided by the fact that US cryptocurrency trading revenues are in fact only a fraction of (approx 5%) of Revolut’s total revenues.

The SEC’s suggestion to Coinbase to cease trading all assets except Bitcoin should be seen as a significant development in the regulation, or lack thereof, of cryptocurrencies. It follows a long row over how cryptocurrencies should be classified, and therefore, regulated.

Gary Gensler, SEC Chair, has made it clear he believes that all cryptocurrencies, other than Bitcoin which he classes as a commodity, are securities. The classification, of course, determines which regulator, the SEC or the CFTC, oversees them.

The SEC’s request to Coinbase is a reminder of the regulatory uncertainty that continues to surround cryptocurrencies. In the wake of the FTX collapse, regulators in the US have taken steps to crack down on the industry, suing both Coinbase and Binance last month. If, hypothetically, Coinbase had delisted every crypto other than Bitcoin, it would have essentially destroyed the crypto industry in the US.

The SEC’s request is a major warning sign that regulators are ramping up their extensive crack down on the crypto industry. Other regulators in the US are also taking a more aggressive stance on crypto. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has also taken action against crypto exchanges, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been cracking down on crypto taxation.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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