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Babafemi Adebajo

Articles by Babafemi Adebajo

Reebok Launches Accountable Ant Sneakers Collection with VeeFriends

December 8, 2023

Following the announcement of the sneakers collection, VeeFriends unveiled a special early access program for its token holders.

In what is fast becoming an ongoing collaboration, Reebok has partnered with VeeFriends again to launch an exclusive collection of sneakers dubbed Accountable Ant Classic Nylons.
Earlier in August, the duo partnered to launch the VeeFriends Aspiring Alpaca sneaker, which sold for $90 apiece. The new launch is likely an attempt to build on the momentum generated by the previous collaboration.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VeeFriends, expressed his enthusiasm for the ongoing partnership. Vaynerchuk emphasized the deeper meaning behind the collaboration. “This isn’t just about fashion,” he stated. “It is a nostalgic nod to our journey, reminding us of the

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Anotherblock to Release Michael Jackson’s First-ever Studio Demo on Blockchain

December 6, 2023

Per the announcement made by Anotherblock, the project will have two packages – the open edition and the limited edition. I

Swedish Web3 music startup Anotherblock will release the first Michael Jackson’s studio demo as a digital vinyl on a blockchain-based platform. Jackson and his brothers recorded the track titled Big Boy (One-Derful Version)  in July 1967. The song went on to become the first for the Jackson 5. 
Company CEO and co-founder Michel Traore expressed his thrill at his involvement in retelling the story of the early days of Jackson 5. Additionally, he highlighted it took the team about six months to piece everything together. Traore is eager to observe what the audience’s response is to music in this format.

“Doing this drop as a digital vinyl on-chain makes it

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Spot Bitcoin ETF: BlackRock Receives $100K in Seed Funding Round

December 5, 2023

While the SEC has yet to greenlight any spot ETF applications, the new filings lend further credence to the likelihood of a spot Bitcoin ETF approval soon.

Investment manager BlackRock has revised its application for a spot Bitcoin ETF approval with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The revision comes on the heels of rumors that investment companies seeking Spot ETF approval would update their S-1 filings in response to SEC comments
The new BlackRock filing reveals the company has received seed funding of $100,000 for its proposed Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund, iShares Bitcoin Trust. The unnamed investor agreed to purchase shares worth $100,000 at a unit price of $25 per share. Consequently, the investor took delivery of 4,000 shares on October 27, 2023.


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Meta’s AI Chief Skeptical about AGI, Quantum Computing

December 4, 2023

Meta’s AI chief, Yann LeCun said it will take decades to achieve the adoption of AGI.

Meta’s AI chief, Yann LeCun, has expressed skepticism about current AI systems surpassing human intelligence anytime soon. Mr. LeCun shared this sentiment while speaking at a Meta media event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Fundamental AI Research team.
LeCun: AGI Systems Not Possible for Decades
Last week, Reuters reported that OpenAI cofounder Sam Altman was removed as CEO when a team of OpenAI researchers discovered a project called Q*. Q* focused on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) defined as autonomous systems that surpass humans in most economically valuable tasks. The project was said to be at an advanced stage and nearing breakthrough levels without proper safety precautions.

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Celsius Network Allows Withdrawals for Qualified Custody Clients

November 30, 2023

Celsius also advised customers to make use of its mobile app for the withdrawal, stating the app would only be available for a limited time.

Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network has announced that some clients with custody assets can now make withdrawals from the platform.
Celsius which previously stopped withdrawals on its platform declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2022. Since then, many customers lost access to their assets. According to a court document, roughly 58,300 users hold “custody assets” valued at around $210 million on the platform.

Celsius’ Clients to Access About 72.5% of Funds
Per the new announcement, customers with Class 6A General Custody Claims and/or Class 6B Withdrawable Custody Claims can proceed to withdraw up to 72.5% of their claims.
However, clients

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Sam Altman Returns as OpenAI CEO after 12 Days of Unemployment while Microsoft Gets Board Seat

November 30, 2023

Altman shared his strategic vision for the future of OpenAI. He noted that the firm will renew its commitment to research, improving its products, and better serving its customers.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has officially returned to his role after being temporarily ousted by the company board. At the time, the board cited communication breakdowns with Altman as their reason for his removal.
The removal triggered 97% of OpenAI employees who asked for the reinstatement of Altman and the resignation of the board. On November 22, the board agreed in principle to bring Altman back.

The Triumphant Return of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman
As demanded by the employees, board members Helen Toner and Tasha McCauley both resigned from their positions. Co-founder and chief scientist at the company, Ilya

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Santander Partners with Taurus for Crypto Asset Management

November 29, 2023

The new partnership with Taurus suggests that Banco Santander anticipates a greater role for crypto in traditional finance.

Spanish banking giant Banco Santander is partnering with cryptocurrency asset management platform Taurus to offer its customers custodial services for their digital assets.
Banco Santander recently emerged as the only Spanish bank to appear on the 2023 list of financial institutions of global systemic importance. The list comprised 29 names classified by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and published in the newspaper Cinco Días.

It is this banking behemoth that is now diverting its efforts into the crypto space. Just last week, the Swiss division of the bank announced it will begin allowing high-net-worth individuals to trade Bitcoin and Ether on its

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Animoca Brands Invests in TON Ecosystem

November 28, 2023

Animoca will leverage TON Play, a TON-based gaming infrastructure that allows projects to launch directly onto Telegram.

Hong Kong-based gaming venture capitalist Animoca Brands has announced its strategic investment in the TON ecosystem. Following the investment, Animoca became the largest validator of The Open Network (TON) blockchain.
According to emerging reports, the venture capital firm has previously researched the TON ecosystem extensively. Thereafter, it published two study reports detailing the potential of the TON blockchain. The reports highlighted the scalability of TON and its user-friendly apps as critical elements for the community’s growth.

Again, Animoca Brands developed an analytics dashboard to help visualize relevant metrics suggesting TON’s growth. These have

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Private Cryptocurrencies Have No Future, Retiring MAS Director Said

November 28, 2023

The retiring MAS director believes the future monetary system will revolve around CBDCs, tokenized bank liabilities, and stablecoins.

The Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ravi Menon, has emphasized that private cryptocurrencies have no future. Menon shared his thoughts as a panelist at an event jointly hosted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Bank for International Settlements.
Earlier, Mr Menon, who spearheaded the fintech revolution in Singapore, announced his plans to retire after thirteen years on the post. Despite his experience, the retiring MAS director affirms private cryptocurrencies will eventually fade off the financial scene.

According to Menon, privately issued assets have repeatedly failed the test of money due to their inability to

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New Binance CEO Promises Greater Transparency

November 27, 2023

The new Binance CEO has noted that Binance will begin operating a conventional corporate structure under his leadership.

New Binance CEO Richard Teng has promised that the firm will maintain a greater commitment to transparency moving forward. Teng made this pledge in his first blog post to the company users.
Mr Teng took over as CEO after Changpeng Zhao (CZ) pled guilty to charges of money laundering and sanctions violations. CZ was asked to step down from the company as part of a $4 billion criminal settlement with the US government.

Before his ascension to the office of CEO, Teng was the former Head of Regional Markets. He also has three decades of financial services and regulatory experience under his belt. Leveraging on these, Teng believes he has what it takes to lead the

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CZ Released from Custody on $175M Bond after Guilty Plea

November 22, 2023

Besides the fines Changpeng Zhao will pay, Binance has also agreed to pay $4.3 billion to the United States Department of Justice (DoJ).

Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has been released from custody after agreeing to a personal recognizance bond of $175 million.
Mr Zhao pled guilty to accusations by federal officials that he violated the Bank Secrecy Act. According to the prosecutors, Binance and CZ knowingly allowed US customers on the platform without conducting proper KYC and AML checks.

While Binance and CZ previously rejected these allegations, filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the duo acquiesced on Tuesday. Consequently, CZ stepped down from his position as CEO and paid the $175 million bond for his release from custody.
In a long-form post on X, Changpeng Zhao

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InfStones Fixes Vulnerabilities Identified by dWallet Labs

November 21, 2023

InfStones explained it conducted an internal review revealing no further threats. The blockchain infrastructure provider also invited an external security firm to audit its systems and company policies.

Blockchain infrastructure provider InfStones has announced its success in fixing vulnerabilities identified in its system by security firm dWallet Labs.
dWallet Labs reportedly found susceptibilities in InfStones’ validators. According to dWallet Labs, it detected the threats while preparing a research paper on attacking blockchain networks and collecting private keys with Web2 attacks.

“A chain of vulnerabilities we discovered and exploited during our research allowed us to gain full control, run code, and extract private keys of hundreds of validators on multiple major networks,”

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DOJ Investigation Leads Tether to Freeze $225M Associated with Human Trafficking Ring

November 20, 2023

Besides freezing assets, Tether follows strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) protocols.

Tether, the USDT issuer, has announced the freezing of 225 million in USDT tokens. Globally, USDT has a market cap of $87.7 billion. It also offers dollar exposure to individuals who cannot access the dollar in their own market.  According to Tether, it traced the frozen funds to an international human trafficking ring in Southeast Asia. This move followed a collaboration with OKX and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The investigation took months and involved using tools from Chainalysis.

During the investigation, Tether and OKX alerted relevant law enforcement agencies to the location of the illicit funds on the blockchain. Consequently, the United States Secret

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Santander Private Bank Introduces Crypto Trading for Swiss Clients

November 20, 2023

Santander has made this move while most big banks limit their exposure to decentralized blockchains and the cryptocurrencies running on them.

Santander Private Banking International has announced plans to allow its high-net-worth Swiss clients a chance to trade crypto assets. The bank will offer these clients a chance to buy, sell, and hold two major cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). It also plans to add further cryptocurrencies that meet its criteria.
According to the banking giant, the service will be provided based on client requests through relationship managers. The bank will also provide secure custodial services for all client assets.

Santander’s move is rather intriguing, given that most big banks limit their exposure to decentralized blockchains and the

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CME Tops Binance, Holds Largest Bitcoin Futures Open Interest

November 10, 2023

CME’s rise to the top suggests increasing institutional interest as the platform is a favorite among large traditional financial institutions.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has surpassed Binance as the exchange with the largest Bitcoin futures open interest (OI) for only the second time in history.
The first time was over two years ago. At the time, strong investor appetite after the launch of ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF increased Bitcoin (BTC) Futures trading on the exchange. CME surpassed Binance by about $2 million on open interest before the latter retook its position. Now, CME has flipped that order again according to data from CoinGlass.

Position Flip Suggests Growing Institutional Interest
CME ranked first among futures and perpetual futures exchanges, with an open

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SEC Dismisses Binance’s Arguments in Its Latest Filing

November 9, 2023

Following the SEC’s latest filings, there have been mixed reactions, with some favoring the SEC and others supporting Binance.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that Binance’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it has no basis in law. The federal regulator revealed this while responding to the motion against it on Wednesday.
How the SEC vs Binance Lawsuit Started
Earlier in June, the SEC began legal proceedings against Binance. The lawsuit accused Binance of offering services to US citizens without registration, selling securities, and offering staking and profit-generating programs. The regulator also accused Binance of engaging in wash trading activities among other claims. Thereafter, Binance was given until 21 September to respond to the US

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Robinhood’s Crypto Trading Revenue Drops by 55% in Q3 2023

November 8, 2023

Despite some setbacks, Robinhood remains committed to the crypto space.

Investing app Robinhood saw its crypto trading revenue drop further in the third quarter of 2023. While the company’s net gains increased by 29% year-over-year to $467 million, its transaction-based income decreased.
According to the quarterly report, the crypto trading revenue plummeted by 55% to $23 million. The loss continues a downward trend for crypto-based transactions on the app. Recall that there was a loss of 1% in Q1 of 2023 and a further drop of 18% in Q2.

It wasn’t just the crypto trading yield that plummeted. While revenue from Options trading remained unchanged at $127 million, the yield from equities also reduced by 13% to $27 million.
What Caused the Drop in Crypto Trading Revenue?
The slowdown

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Kraken Seeks Partnership to Develop Its Layer 2 Network

November 7, 2023

Kraken neither confirmed nor dispelled the rumor.

Reports suggesting that US-based crypto exchange Kraken is seeking partnerships to enable it to develop its own Layer 2 network solution have emerged.
Per the report, the exchange is considering a partnership with Polygon, which is noted for its Ethereum scaling solutions, to build its Layer 2 network. Matter Labs and Nil Foundation are also being appraised for the role. According to unnamed sources. Kraken will partner with one of the companies and use their technology as the basis for its Layer 2 solutions.

Asked about the development, a Kraken spokesperson stated that the exchange had no new information to share with the public at the time. “We’re always looking to identify and solve for new industry challenges and opportunities,”

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How Satoshi Nakamoto and Bitcoin Whitepaper Changed World within 15 Years

October 31, 2023

With the imminent launch of Bitcoin spot ETFs, many institutions are also looking to gain increased exposure to BTC.

Exactly 15 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, sent the Bitcoin whitepaper via email to a select number of cryptographers.
Satoshi is fondly quoted to have opened the email saying:

“I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.”

He then went on to link the Whitepaper which he titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”
The whitepaper proposed a system that allowed individuals to transact with themselves without government influence and third-party providers. This, it claimed, would solve the problem of “double spending” that plagued the financial system at the

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Solana Labs Launches Web3 Incubator Program

October 27, 2023

Solana Labs is inviting startups to take part in the Incubator program. They have time till November 30 to submit their applications.

Ecosystem builder Solana Labs has announced the launch of its Solana Web3 Incubator program. Speaking on the development, the Product Manager at Solana Labs, Emon Motamedi noted that Web3 start-ups require time and resources to build new solutions that benefit their audience. Motamedi identified that these founders frequently face challenges relating to Web3 integrations and fundraising.
“Our priority is to remove the biggest obstacles currently facing founders so that these teams can spend their time on what they do best: solving the burning problems of their users,” he concluded.

Consequently, the Solana Incubator program will make it easy for

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Bitcoin Price Surges amid Possibility of Bitcoin ETF Approval

October 20, 2023

To underscore the bullish sentiments, the performance of Bitcoin forks reflects the same optimism among investors.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has continued its steady ascent to the $30,000 mark. The digital currency climbed to $29,800 in the past 24 hours, extending its weekly gains to over 11%. Bitcoin hit a 2023 peak price of $31,809 on July 13. However, it has struggled to reclaim its $30,000 level since July 24. In August, it further depreciated to rest at $26,000.
Price Surge Driven by Bitcoin ETF Sentiments
This recent surge in price is driven by bullish sentiment around a possible spot bitcoin exchange. There is optimism among investors and traders that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may be close to approving a Bitcoin

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OpenAI Building Tool for Detecting AI-Generated Images

October 18, 2023

Aside from announcing the new tool, OpenAI executives also shared valuable insights into future AI models.

OpenAI is working on a new tool capable of detecting AI-generated images with remarkable accuracy levels. Mira Murati, the Chief Technology Officer of OpenAI, shared this development while speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech conference in Laguna Beach, California.
According to Murati, the image detection tool has a reliability rate of 99% in determining if the source of an image is AI. Currently, the tool is undergoing internal testing. While there is no specific timeline for the launch, the tool should be publicly released as soon as tests are complete.

OpenAI’s announcement is similar to Google’s recent announcement it has been building an AI image detection system.

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EY Announces First Corporate Client for EY Blockchain Analyzer: Reconciler

October 17, 2023

The tool will use analytical dashboards to identify transaction errors, wallet address balances and digital signatures.

Ernst & Young (EY) Global has announced the first corporate client for its EY Blockchain Analyzer: Reconciler. Per the announcement, Fidelity Digital Assets, a subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, became the first enterprise to use the tool after its launch in February.
EY Global Blockchain Leader Paul Brody believes that a robust internal risk management process and operational excellence are necessary for cryptocurrency platforms to gain a competitive edge and instill trust among investors and regulators. This, he said, is what the EY Blockchain Analyzer: Reconciler will address directly.

“The tool will provide an easy-to-use, web-based interface that allows their

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Kokusai Electric Raises $724 Million in IPO despite Reduced Chip Demand

October 16, 2023

Kokusai’s IPO appears promising and may become a reference point for new listings in the future.

Chip equipment maker Kokusai Electric has raised $724.4 million after pricing its shares at 1,840 yen each in its IPO. Kokusai Electric spun out of Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc. which KKR bought in 2017. The current share offerings put the company’s valuation at 423.9 billion yen ($2.8 billion) – a 60% increase from the price KKR paid to acquire the group in 2017.
Kokusai set its shares at the top end of its marketed range. Even if the shares sold at the bottom of the range, the Initial Public Offering (IPO) would still be larger than SoftBank Corp’s listing in 2018. Consequently, Kokusai’s share offering makes it Japan’s largest in five years.

According to Reuters, share allotment to

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Bird Downsizes after Acquiring Spin, Aims for Leaner Operation

October 5, 2023

Bird’s second-quarter earnings in 2023 showed a 19% year-over-year reduction in average rides per vehicle daily.

Shared micromobility company Bird is downsizing again. The details were contained in an email sent to the entire company by interim CEO Michael Washinushi. “Regrettably, today we need to reduce our headcount in order to achieve our broader goals and to ensure that the entire organization can sustain itself and continue its mission,” admitted he. Bird’s interim CEO noted that the Spin acquisition process resulted in redundancies in roles and scope. The need to create the most efficient integrated team possible meant some staff had to be cut off, he explained.
Following Washinushi’s email, all impacted employees received an invitation to meet with a senior leader in their

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Novartis Completes Sandoz Spinoff, Sandoz Starts Trading at 24 Swiss Francs

October 4, 2023

Half of Sandoz’s revenue comes from Europe. Thus, it will be looking to leverage its brand presence in Europe for further growth.

Emerging reports suggest that Novartis has completed the spinoff of its Generics and Biosimilars division, Sandoz, on Wednesday, October 4.
The Swiss drug company first made its intention known in August 2022, commencing a strategic review to determine the fate of Sandoz. The review revealed a 100% spinoff was in the best interest of shareholders. Following that, Novartis shareholders approved this plan at the company’s Extraordinary General Meeting held in September.

Joerg Reinhardt, Chair of the Board of Directors of Novartis believes the step will allow both companies to optimize management focus and allocate capital on business priorities.

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Deep Fake: Tom Hanks, Others Decry AI-Generated Videos of Self

October 3, 2023

The news of the deep fake videos comes as the daughter of late comedian Robin Williams expressed her displeasure at AI-generated recreations of her father’s voice.

Actor Tom Hanks has publicly denounced a deep fake video of himself promoting a dental plan. Hanks took to Instagram to warn his 9.5 million Instagram followers not to fall for the advert. Hank said:

“There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.”

Hanks has been vocal about the use of AI in the entertainment industry. The Hollywood star alluded to the technology being unstoppable while speaking on The Adam Buxton Podcast. Thanks to his digital avatar from the 2004 film “The Polar Express”, Hanks believes his career could continue indefinitely even if he gets

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Coinbase Explores FTX Acquisition and Derivatives License

September 22, 2023

Until FTX collapsed in November, FTX Europe was the only firm offering special crypto derivatives (perpetual futures) to the European market.

Reports have emerged that Coinbase considered acquiring FTX Europe after the exchange’s bankruptcy in November. While the acquisition talks were not successful, Coinbase’s interest in FTX Europe underlines how important derivatives have become to Coinbase’s global strategy.
Whereas spot trading volumes have dipped significantly, there is a greater demand for derivatives. Data from crypto analytics firm Kaiko Research showed that derivatives volume was six times larger than spot volume in the second quarter of 2023. This suggests that derivatives are becoming more popular.

In the Pursuit of a Derivatives License
Until FTX collapsed in November,

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Malta Begins Public Consultation to Align Crypto Rulebook to MiCA

September 18, 2023

Aside from the EU, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom have also made progress with crypto regulation.

Malta’s Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has begun a public consultation on the proposed changes to its crypto rulebook. The regulator circulated a draft document representing the revised version of its crypto regulation on Monday.
Malta issued the rulebook for the first time in February 2019. Since then, the document has passed through five revisions to align it with best practices globally. The current attempt seeks to align the rulebook with the Markets in Crypto-Assets framework.

The European Union (EU) proposed the MiCA framework in September 2020. The regulation will allow crypto service providers to operate across the 27 European Union countries with a single license.

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Salesforce to Hire 3300 Workers After Initial Employee Layoffs

September 15, 2023

According to CEO, the company needs to employ “thousands” of people to maintain its growth potential and margins.

Cloud-based software firm, Salesforce, is planning to boost its employee numbers by hiring 3,300 specialists. Chief Executive Marc Benioff revealed this while speaking to Bloomberg at the company’s annual Dreamforce conference.
The announcement follows the company’s decision to lay off 10% of its employees in January. Amid an effort to increase profits, Salesforce cut about 8,000 jobs. Another 50 sales and customer success employee lost their jobs in August.

At the time, the company defended the job cuts, citing it hired too many people during the pandemic. The newly opened positions will restore 40% of the employees that were slashed in January.
According to Chief

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