Coinbase Reports 63% Drop in Revenue Amid Crypto Industry Slump

When the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase went public in April 2021, it was a triumphant moment for the nascent crypto industry.

But the company has endured a grim 2022, grappling with a crypto market crash that has tanked its stock price and forced it to lay off hundreds of employees.

Those struggles continued on Tuesday when Coinbase reported a 63 percent decline in revenue in the second quarter and swung to a $1.1 billion loss from a year ago.

Blaming the “fast and furious” crypto downturn, the company said revenue was $808 million, down from $2.2 billion a year earlier. Its monthly customer total rose to nine million from 8.8 million last year, but was down from 9.2 million in the last quarter. Coinbase also predicted that its user numbers would continue to fall over the next three months.

In an earnings call on Tuesday, Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s chief executive, emphasized the cyclical nature of crypto and pointed out that the company had survived previous downturns.

“It seems scary,” he said. “But it’s never as bad as it seems.”

The results illustrated the stark challenges facing Coinbase at a turbulent moment for the crypto industry. The prices of the leading digital currencies crashed in May and June as a series of experimental crypto ventures collapsed, plunging investors into financial ruin. The crash has led to layoffs across the industry, dampening the excitement that surged last fall when the price of Bitcoin reached a record high.

As part of the industry meltdown, Coinbase’s stock price has fallen about 75 percent since November. The company’s success is largely tied to the fluctuations of the broader crypto market. In the second quarter, more than 80 percent of its revenue came from trading fees it charged customers to buy and sell digital assets like Bitcoin and Ether.

In June, Coinbase laid off 18 percent of its staff, or about 1,100 employees. Mr. Armstrong said at the time that the company had “over-hired.”

Coinbase’s recent struggles have fueled concerns that it may be squandering its early lead in the industry, as competitors like Binance and FTX expand during the downturn.

Despite its early start, Coinbase has never had a strong foothold in the international market, and it recently botched an expansion effort in India. Its most hyped product launch of the year — a marketplace for the digital collectibles known as nonfungible tokens, or NFTs — drew little customer interest. And a hiring spree last year led to overspending and bloat, as the company’s expenses more than doubled.

“We probably could have grown slower over the last couple of years,” Mr. Armstrong said on the call.

Coinbase has also come under regulatory scrutiny. Last month, the Justice Department filed insider-trading charges against a former Coinbase employee. In a related action, the Securities and Exchange Commission said that it considered some of the digital coins listed on Coinbase’s exchange to be securities and, therefore, subject to regulation like stocks or bonds — a stance the company has objected to.

In a letter to shareholders on Tuesday, Coinbase said that the S.E.C. sent the company a “voluntary request for information” in May about that listing process. “We do not yet know if this inquiry will become a formal investigation,” the letter said.

Coinbase’s competitors appear to be faring better during the downturn. FTX, another crypto exchange, has had financial results that are “ballpark similar” to last year’s, according to its chief executive, Sam Bankman-Fried. Binance, the world’s largest exchange, announced in June that it was looking to fill 2,000 positions.

Still, Coinbase remains one of the most trusted and recognized crypto brands in the United States, known for its Super Bowl commercial featuring a bouncing QR code. Last week, the company announced a partnership with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to help institutional investors trade Bitcoin.

Srebrenica women recognised for highlighting 1995 genocide | Genocide News

They had been those who lived in a world during which their husbands, sons, brothers, uncles and nephews had been massacred. They had been those who fought to make it possible for the world would neither deny nor overlook the reality of what occurred in Srebrenica.

As hundreds converge on the japanese Bosnian city to commemorate the twenty seventh anniversary on Monday of Europe’s solely acknowledged genocide since World Struggle II, the essential function girls have performed in forging a world understanding of the 1995 bloodbath is also getting recognised.

A everlasting picture exhibition of portraits of the ladies of Srebrenica opened on Saturday in a memorial centre devoted to the bloodbath’s greater than 8,000 victims.

The centre in Potocari, simply outdoors the city, is about to host a global convention of ladies discussing how they discovered the energy to battle for justice after being pushed from their properties and witnessing their family members being taken away to be killed.

“After I survived the genocide during which my most beloved youngster and my husband had been killed, it was the injustice of their killers, their refusal to acknowledge what they did and to repent, that pushed me to battle for reality and justice,” Munira Subasic mentioned.

10 days of slaughter

Subasic’s relations had been amongst greater than 8,000 males and boys from the Bosniak ethnic group, which is made up primarily of Muslims, who perished in 10 days of slaughter after the city was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces within the closing months of Bosnia’s 1992-95 fratricidal conflict.

Bosnian Serb troopers ploughed the victims’ our bodies into rapidly made mass graves, after which later dug up the websites with bulldozers and scattered the stays amongst different burial websites to cover the proof of their crimes.

Bosniak girls and kids had been packed onto buses and expelled from the city. However as quickly because the conflict was over, Subasic and different girls who had shared her destiny pledged to search out the stays of their family members, carry them again to their city and bury them there.

To try this, they created an organisation, Moms of Srebrenica, which engaged in road protests and different actions to remain within the public eye.

They demanded that the mass graves be discovered, the stays recognized, and people answerable for the bloodbath punished.

Up to now, virtually 90 p.c of these reported lacking from the autumn of Srebrenica have been accounted for.

“Folks usually ask us who supported us, who had our again early on. Nevertheless it was nobody, we did it on our personal,” Sehida Abdurahmanovic mentioned.

“The ache is the very best and essentially the most tough schooling, but in addition essentially the most sincere, as a result of it comes immediately from the center,” she added.

The ladies stored returning

Because the finish of the conflict, Srebrenica has been positioned within the Serb-run Bosnian entity of Republika Srpska, whereas a lot of its pre-war inhabitants reside within the nation’s different entity, the Bosniak-Croat Federation.

Within the instant post-war years, crowds of offended Bosnian Serbs did their finest to forestall girls who had lived by way of the bloodshed from visiting the newly-found mass graves to seek for gadgets that after belonged to their family members.

To intimidate them, crowds would line up alongside the streets, shouting and throwing stones at buses carrying the ladies.

However the girls stored returning.

For a very long time, they needed to be escorted by the NATO-led peacekeepers, however nonetheless, they refused to bury their recognized useless wherever else however in Srebrenica.

Lastly, in 2003, Bosnian Serb authorities relented below stress and allowed the survivors to inaugurate the memorial cemetery for the victims within the city.

To date, the stays of greater than 6,600 individuals have been discovered and buried on the cemetery. The stays of fifty extra victims, not too long ago present in mass graves and recognized by way of DNA evaluation, can be put to relaxation there on Monday.

Dozens of Srebrenica girls testified earlier than the UN conflict crimes tribunal for the previous Yugoslavia, serving to put behind bars near 50 Bosnian Serb wartime officers, collectively sentenced to greater than 700 years in jail.

“After my husband was killed and I stayed alone with our two youngsters, I believed I will be unable to perform, however the ache stored us going,” Abdurahmanovic mentioned.

Introduced up in a patriarchal society, Srebrenica girls had been anticipated to endure in silence and never confront Serb leaders, who proceed to downplay and even deny the 1995 bloodbath.

As an alternative, they modified their lives, establishing help teams, commemorating the victims and re-telling their trauma to everybody prepared to hear, together with queens, presidents, prime ministers, diplomats and journalists.

“The historical past of what occurred in Srebrenica has been written in white marble headstones within the memorial cemetery, which might not have existed had we not insisted,” mentioned Suhra Sinanovic, who misplaced her husband and 23 different shut male relations within the bloodbath.

She mentioned Bosnian Serb authorities had underestimated the Srebrenica girls.

“If, God forbid, a conflict was to interrupt out in Bosnia once more, possibly [the Serbs] would do issues in a different way by letting the lads reside and killing the ladies,” she mentioned.

What Are Spam Bots and Why They’re an Issue in Elon Musk’s Twitter Deal

On Friday, the tech billionaire Elon Musk introduced that he was terminating a $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter. The rationale, he mentioned, was an ongoing disagreement over the variety of spam bot accounts on the platform. Now, the difficulty of what constitutes a spam bot account, and what number of at present exist on Twitter, is more likely to be on the coronary heart of the authorized battles between Mr. Musk and Twitter over the fraught deal.

Whereas generally referred to as “bots” or “spam” or “faux accounts,” all discuss with inauthentic accounts that imitate how folks use Twitter. Some spam accounts are automated, however others are operated by folks, making it difficult to detect them.

Bots can tweet at folks, share tweets, comply with and be adopted by different folks, amongst different issues.

Mr. Musk has been voicing concern over spam bots on Twitter for years. In 2020, he appeared at an occasion for Twitter staff, and inspired the corporate to do extra to stop and take away spam bots.

Since saying his intention to purchase Twitter in April, Mr. Musk has repeatedly tweeted about spam bots on the platform. In Could, when Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief government, tweeted about how the corporate detects and fights spam bots, Mr. Musk responded with a poop emoji.

In a six-paragraph letter on June 6, Mr. Musk’s legal professionals demanded extra data from Twitter, stating that the corporate was “refusing Mr. Musk’s information requests” to reveal the variety of faux accounts on its platform. That amounted to a “clear materials breach” of the deal, the legal professionals continued, saying it gave Mr. Musk the appropriate to interrupt off the settlement. The subsequent day, Twitter agreed to permit Mr. Musk direct entry to its “hearth hose,” the every day stream of hundreds of thousands of tweets that stream by the corporate’s community.

Because it went public in 2013, Twitter has estimated that roughly 5 p.c of its accounts are spam bots. On Thursday, the corporate informed reporters that it removes about a million spam bot accounts every day, and locks hundreds of thousands extra per week till the folks behind the accounts can cross anti-spam exams.

The corporate does, nonetheless, permit spam bot accounts, which it prefers to name automated bots, that carry out a service. Twitter encourages many of those accounts to label themselves as bots for transparency. The corporate argues that a lot of these accounts carry out a helpful service.

Twitter defines good spam bots as automated accounts that “assist folks discover helpful, entertaining and related data.” For instance, @mrstockbot provides folks automated responses after they ask for a inventory quote, and @earthquakebot tweets about any earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 or increased worldwide as they happen.

However different spam bots are utilized by governments, companies or unhealthy actors for a lot of nefarious functions. In the course of the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, Russia used spam bot accounts to impersonate People and attempt to sow divisions amongst U.S. voters.

Spam bots that interact in scams are regularly discovered on Twitter making an attempt to influence folks to ship cryptocurrency, or digital forex, to on-line wallets for prizes that don’t exist. Generally spam bots are additionally used to assault celebrities or politicians and to create a hostile atmosphere for them on-line.

Kate Conger contributed reporting.

How Russia Propaganda Is Reaching Beyond English Speakers

The day after a missile struck a shopping mall in central Ukraine in June, killing at least 18 people, the Spanish-language arm of Russia’s global television network, RT en Español, took to Facebook to challenge the facts of the attack.

On its account, available across much of Central and South America and even in the United States, the network posted a video statement from a military spokesman claiming that Russia’s air force had bombed a weapons cache supplied by Ukraine’s Western allies. A video released by the Ukrainian government, and survivors of the attack interviewed on the ground by The New York Times, showed otherwise.

When Russia’s war in Ukraine began, Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants moved to block or limit the reach of the accounts of the Kremlin’s propaganda machine in the West. The effort, though, has been limited by geography and language, creating a patchwork of restrictions rather than a blanket ban.

In Spanish in Latin America or in Arabic across the Middle East, a steady stream of Russian propaganda and disinformation continues to try to justify President Vladimir V. Putin’s unprovoked invasion, demonizing Ukraine and obfuscating responsibility for Russian atrocities that have killed thousands of civilians.

The result has been a geographical and cultural asymmetry in the information war over Ukraine that has helped undercut American- and European-led efforts to put broad international pressure on Mr. Putin to call off his war.

“There is not an airtight, worldwide stifling of Russia’s notorious ability to fight not only on the battlefield, the real battlefield, but also to fight with information and distortions of information,” said Paul M. Barrett, deputy director of the Stern Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University, who recently wrote a study about the spread of harmful Russian propaganda on YouTube.

The failure of Facebook, Twitter and even TikTok, the Chinese-owned app, to impose stronger checks on Russian posts in non-English languages has begun to draw criticism as the war drags on.

Two weeks ago, a bipartisan group of United States senators added to the criticism, accusing the platforms of allowing Russia to “amplify and export its lies abroad” in Spanish. While the targets of those efforts were in Central and South America, the disinformation also reached Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States, they said.

The lawmakers urged the companies to do more to block Russia’s Spanish outlets, including RT en Español and Sputnik Mundo, which have been spreading accusations that the United States, among other things, is manufacturing biological weapons in Ukraine. Disinformation experts say the oversights reveal flaws in the platforms’ international operations, which often get fewer resources than those in the United States.

The impact of Russia’s wartime propaganda on public opinion overseas is difficult to measure precisely. Polls have shown that Mr. Putin remains a reviled world leader, suggesting that the Kremlin’s efforts have not yet translated into significant improvement in global support for the invasion.

At the same time, Russian disinformation is flowing freely in parts of the world where the war in Ukraine is viewed in less stark, good-versus-evil terms as in the United States and Europe.

“In these extraordinary circumstances, we must remain vigilant about the ability of known purveyors of Russian disinformation to propagate falsehoods about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, whether in Spanish or any other language,” the senators, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Tim Kaine of Virginia, both Democrats, and Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, wrote in a letter to Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook, in a written response to questions, said it had restricted access to RT and Sputnik accounts in the European Union, Britain and Ukraine after receiving requests from government officials. (The European Union’s Court of Justice dismissed an appeal by RT France to overturn a ban on the network’s work in the bloc.)

Facebook has also said it blocked ads from all Russian state media and “demoted” posts from accounts linked to it. Accounts in other languages face the same rules aimed at stopping disinformation or harmful content, the company said.

“We have multiple teams working across the company to limit the spread of misinformation in dozens of languages,” the company’s statement said.

Days after the war began, Twitter also shut down the Russian accounts in the European Union and added labels to accounts that retweeted links to them. In April, the company announced that it would not amplify such accounts, causing a drop in engagements, according to a written statement.

TikTok said recently that it had removed or labeled tens of thousands of posts as part of “ongoing actions we take to protect against fake engagement.” In May, it added labels to the accounts of the Ukrainian government, too.

The moves against the Kremlin have not stopped it from using Western social media to penetrate foreign audiences. Its propaganda network, which has for years sought to build audiences in many languages, went into overdrive as Russian troops massed around Ukraine last winter — and in the weeks that followed the invasion on Feb. 24.

RT en Español’s Facebook page has 18 million followers, more than its English site or CNN’s Spanish channels. The posts drive traffic to Actualidad RT, the network’s main news channel.

Russian posts experienced soaring engagement in the weeks after the start of the war, according to an analysis by Avaaz, a grass-roots good governance organization.

RT Online, the television network’s Arabic-language page on Facebook, also saw a 187 percent spike in engagements during the first month of the war, Avaaz found. Sputnik’s accounts in Brazil and Japan also experienced spikes, though smaller ones. A similar analysis by Zignal Labs, a firm that tracks social media activity, showed a surge in link shares of posts by RT and Sputnik news in Spanish.

On these sites, Russia’s war is falsely portrayed as a just cause against a fascist regime in Ukraine that sought nuclear weapons and connived with the United States to develop biological weapons on Russia’s doorstep. In this twisted view of the war, well-documented atrocities in cities like Bucha are exaggerations or even hoaxes, staged to demonize Russia.

Nora Benavidez, senior counsel at Free Press, an advocacy group for digital rights and accountability, said Facebook had long had an Anglo-centric approach to moderation policies that overlooked harmful disinformation on a variety of subjects in other languages and other parts of the world.

While many languages are used on Facebook, she said, more than 80 percent of its enforcement resources are in English.

“In a word, I think that is a form of bigotry that the rest of the world should not be protected from the worst, most dangerous content in the ways that English-speaking users should be,” she said.

Bret Schafer, a senior fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, said the Spanish and Arabic branches of Russian state media were the country’s most influential on Facebook and Twitter. RT en Español, Sputnik Mundo and RT Play en Español have been among the 10 most-viewed pages on Facebook in Latin America, with tens of millions of viewers.

Even after the restrictions, Russia sought workarounds. RT en Español created new accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube under the name Ahi Les Va, according to research by Mr. Schafer’s teams. Those accounts continue to post Russian disinformation to growing groups of new followers.

“If you speak to people in Latin America, RT is viewed as just another media outlet to be read and trusted,” he said. “It is hugely influential.”

The failure to go after Russian posts in Spanish, Arabic and other languages has left open the door for the Kremlin to win over audiences in parts of the world where the United States, its main villain, is viewed with greater ambivalence.

A report by the Bertelsmann Foundation in June noted that 42 percent of traffic to RT’s Spanish network was in three countries that had supported Russia or expressed neutrality in the war with Ukraine: Argentina, Venezuela and Mexico.

“Part of RT’s success probably is due not so much on promoting the Russian version of events, but rather on questioning the Western narrative,” said Philip Kitzberger, a political scientist at Torcuato di Tella University in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. “And that finds some resonance in certain groups, linked in Latin America to a left that is very critical of the U.S.”

Ana Lankes contributed reporting.

Moscow rails against Zelenskyy’s call for travel ban on Russians | Russia-Ukraine war News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urges Western countries to impose a blanket travel ban on Russians, as Moscow says the remarks were ‘off the charts’.

Russia has said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s proposal to ban all Russians from Western countries went “off the charts” and was seen “extremely negatively” in Moscow.

The Ukrainian leader told The Washington Post newspaper that current Western sanctions against Moscow were too weak, adding the West should close its borders to Russians.

“The irrationality of thinking in this case is off the charts,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday. “Any attempt to isolate Russians or Russia is a process that has no prospects,” Peskov added.

Zelenskyy told the Post that “the most important sanctions are to close the borders – because the Russians are taking away someone else’s land”.

His remarks stand in stark contrast to the first days of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine when Zelenskyy used to reach out to Russia-based Kremlin critics, in Russian.

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev called Zelenskky “the greatest Ukrainian clown” on Twitter – and even compared him to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

‘End tourism from Russia’

Russia’s neighbour in the north, Finland last week issued a plan to limit tourist visas for Russians but also emphasised the need for a European Union-level decision on the matter.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said it was “time to end tourism from Russia.” “Visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right,” she wrote on Twitter.

In Paris, Russian nationals can no longer visit the Chateau de Vincennes, an important tourist attraction.

Access to Russians has been restricted after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine in late February, the French defence ministry told the AFP news agency.

Asked to comment on the proposed and actual restrictions for Russian citizens in Europe, Peskov alluded to events seen in the run-up to and during World War II.

“In their unfriendliness, many of these countries slip into forgetfulness,” he said. “And they resort to statements that we heard from several European countries in the centre of Europe 80 years ago.”

Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine has killed thousands, forced millions to flee their homes and exacerbated food shortages across the world.