Reuters: Federal Reserve Announces Job Cuts

Despite public reassurances about the robustness of the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve is preparing to downsize its workforce, according to Reuters. The central bank has confirmed plans to eliminate approximately 300 positions by the end of this year. This decision marks the institution’s first notable personnel reduction since 2010. Currently, the Federal Reserve system, which consists of 12 regional reserve banks, employs around 21,000 individuals.

Although the exact number of layoffs has not been specified, the majority of the reductions will target support roles. This includes specific technology positions that are now considered superfluous.

Interestingly, while this move has garnered attention, job cuts at the Federal Reserve are not unprecedented in its history. According to a Reuters report, the U.S. Federal Reserve system had previously made similar reductions, emphasizing the rarity but not the novelty of such decisions.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell recently voiced his surprise at the resilience of the U.S. economy in the face of rising inflation and interest rates. “Economic activity has been stronger than we expected, stronger than I think everyone expected,” Powell stated in a press conference following the central bank’s most recent monetary policy meeting. Reflecting this sentiment, Fed officials have adjusted their economic growth forecasts upwards and project a decline in unemployment rates.

However, Powell also recognized the inherent challenges in curbing inflation to sustainable levels. He hinted that achieving this might require a “softening” in the job market. While Powell is optimistic about the possibility of a “soft landing” — a situation where inflation is managed without inducing a recession — he also warned that such an outcome could be influenced by external factors beyond the Fed’s control.

Overview of the Federal Reserve’s History

Established in 1913 by an act of Congress, the Federal Reserve System, commonly known as the Fed, serves as the central bank of the United States. Its primary mission was to stabilize the American banking system. Over its century-long existence, the Fed has navigated through various economic challenges, from the Great Depression to the Great Financial Crisis and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The institution has evolved, adapting to changing economic landscapes and implementing policies to ensure financial stability and economic growth. This website offers a comprehensive look into the Fed’s history, detailing its key events, policy actions, and the influential figures that have shaped its trajectory. The Fed’s journey reflects its commitment to safeguarding the nation’s financial health, ensuring the flow of money and credit, and responding to economic challenges with informed decisions.

Image source: Shutterstock


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North Korean Hackers Allegedly Behind $35 Million Cryptocurrency Heist

North Korean cybercriminals are the prime suspects in a recent cryptocurrency heist involving the theft of a substantial $35 million. Cybersecurity analysts shared this assessment with CNN on Tuesday, pointing to telltale signs in the tactics and techniques used in the attack.

The victim of the heist, Atomic Wallet, a widely-used cryptocurrency service based in Estonia, reportedly suffered a breach in customer accounts over the weekend. While the company has acknowledged the incident, stating that it impacted “less than 1%” of its monthly users, it has yet to comment on the total losses incurred or identify the culprits.

The aftermath of the incident has seen victims appealing directly to the thieves on Twitter, hoping for some semblance of mercy. They’ve posted their cryptocurrency addresses and pleaded for the return of their stolen funds.

Although the total amount stolen remains unconfirmed, independent cryptocurrency analyst ZachXBT, suspects it might exceed $35 million, as Atomic Wallet continues to conduct its investigation.

“We’re seeing some striking similarities between this and previous attacks attributed to North Korean hackers,” he told CNN. “This includes the Harmony case earlier this year, which involved laundering of around $100 million.”

Indeed, Pyongyang-linked cybercrime has been an increasing concern, with North Korean hackers allegedly responsible for siphoning billions of dollars from banks and cryptocurrency firms over recent years. Some reports, including those from the United Nations, suggest this illicit activity is a significant revenue source for the isolated North Korean regime.

The US administration is well aware of the potential national security implications. A White House official shared last month that nearly half of North Korea’s missile program funding could be traced back to these cybercrime activities.

In response to this evolving threat landscape, the Biden administration is shifting its focus toward strengthening defenses against these cyber-attacks and curtailing money laundering activities. As part of this initiative, it is partnering with allies and private companies globally to increase the resilience of the financial system and disrupt the resources flowing into North Korea’s missile program.

Meanwhile, the FBI has been alerted about the Atomic Wallet hack and is expected to join the ongoing investigation. The goal is to uncover the culprits, track the stolen funds, and prevent future incidents of this nature.


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CNN Halts NFT Project, Seeking Avenue to Compensate Fans

The multinational media company, the Cable News Network (CNN) has announced that it will be terminating its active development and engagement of its Non-Fungible Token (NFT) project dubbed “Vault by CNN.”


Taking to its Twitter handle, the company said the halt in the project does not imply that the NFT collection already launched will cease to exist as it has defined clear modalities to manage the collection. On its part, the company said its active engagement and development of Vault by CNN will cease.

“The Vault team is honoured to have partnered with amazing journalists, producers, artists, photojournalists, and collectors from all over the world during our time together,” the company said in the shared Press Release on Twitter, “We learned a lot from our first foray into Web3, and we are excited to carry Vault’s concepts around community storytelling into future projects.”

With quite a number of deliverables left on its roadmap, which spans till the end of this year, so many collectors of the NFT have been feeling slighted and cheated, some are even calling the move a rug pull.

Understanding how its community felt about the move, Vault by CNN plans to compensate the most affected community members. According to a statement sent out by the Vault by CNN, collectors will receive partial refunds, which will be paid out through Flow (FLOW) tokens.

“The distribution will be either FLOW tokens or stablecoins deposited into each collector’s wallet. We are currently working out the details, but expect the distribution amount to be roughly 20% of the original mint price for each Vault NFT owned.” 

The potential incentive was confirmed by one of the core team members on Discord, identified as Jason.

Coming off as one of the media entities besides Marvel and Time Magazine with a vested interest in NFTs. Notably, with the abrupt end of the Vault by CNN project, many collectors may stay sceptical of related projects that may be coming from top media firms in the near future.

Image source: Shutterstock


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This Is Hilarious: Bitcoin Denier Steve Hanke Is Into Ethereum Now

Did Steve Hanke find a way out of the hole he’s been digging himself into for all these years? The economist holds the world record for the person with the highest number of terrible Bitcoin takes, with almost 13 years of failed predictions. And now, out of nowhere, he seems to like the world’s second cryptocurrency by market capitalization. What does he like about Ethereum, though? The “560% price surge this year,” of course. But there’s more… 

Wait… is Steve Hanke into NFTs? The man said, “Ethereum has become increasingly popular amongst DeFi and NFTs” without a hint of irony. He also said, “Ethereum is giving Bitcoin a run for its money,” which is the most positive thing Steve Hanke has said about Bitcoin in over a decade. And, in the end there, he leaves space for possible deniability, “Has the look of a bubble. But, is it?

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The economist also links to an extremely basic and clumsy CNN article. Is Steve Hanke warming up to cryptocurrencies? Or is there some other dynamic at play here?

The Article Steve Hanke Linked To

This run-of-the-mill article doesn’t really say much. Its main message is the price action anyone reading NewsBTC is probably already familiar with.

“Ethereum, or ether for short, is also trading at record levels. It’s now hovering around $4,850, having soared more than 560% this year, compared to the “mere” 135% pop for bitcoin. Crypto investors are betting that ether will continue to be used as the backbone for even more non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, as well as so-called smart contracts.”

Ok, what else do you got for us? Not much. It’s all over the place. It breaks down the total cryptocurrency market capitalization, introduces the concept of the mythical “flippening,” and tries to keep people away from meme coins. To accomplish this, CNN quotes Paxfull’s Ray Youssef saying, “Ether and bitcoin versus meme coins are like the difference between blue chips and penny stocks you get a call about from a guy in a boiler room.” The article also talks about inflation, how could it not?, and introduces ETFs into the picture.

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“The rise of bitcoin ETFs also could be good news for ethereum, because experts predict that similar ether ETFs could soon launch. That will make it even easier for average investors and big money management firms to buy into the crypto.”

So, all in all, it doesn’t say much and the only clear fact it presents is that Ethereum had a better year than Bitcoin. Why did Steve Hanke link to it, then?

ETHUSD price chart for 11/13/2021 - TradingView

ETH price chart for 11/13/2021 on Bitfinex | Source: ETH/USD on

Is Hanke Trying To Find A Lifeboat?

Here at NewsBTC, we constantly argue with Steve Hanke. Just in the last year, we responded to him calling Bitcoin not legitimate, not a currency, and the concept of it being legal tender “stupid.” And now, he seems to like Ethereum. Why? Is it because Ethereum’s internal policies are more akin to the traditional banking system he’s accustomed to? Or did Hanke realize that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and is too afraid to admit he was so wrong about Bitcoin for all these years?

In any case, the main reaction in his replies so far is mockery. Even notorious Ethereum defender Udi Wertheimer said, “this is the most bearish ethereum signal i’ve seen in my entire life.” Let’s keep an eye on his Twitter feed and see what the economist says about Ethereum in the next few days. This is going to be interesting.

Featured Image: RobinHiggins at Pixabay | Charts by TradingView


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Christie’s Will Auction Original Art From Gary Vee ‘s Veefriends NFT Collection

Notorious entrepreneur and social media personality, Gary Vee, is now a full-blown artist. The legendary auction house Christie’s crowned him as so by announcing an auction of five of the original pieces from his Veefriends NFT collection. Is this new development positive for NFT mania? Is it positive for Veefriends holders? What does it say about the current state of the arts? So many questions.

Related Reading | In The Mood For Auction: Wong Kar-Wai ‘s First NFT Available At Sotheby’s

First of all, these are the five pieces that Christie’s will auction:

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On the Veefriends official site, the NFT collection is defined as:

“VeeFriends is the name of Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT collection. He created VeeFriends to bring to life his ambitions of building a community around his creative and business passions using NFT technology and their smart contract capabilities. By owning a VeeFriend NFT, you immediately become part of the VeeFriends community and get access to VeeCon.”

So, maybe Gary Vee ’s credentials as an artist are lacking, but he’s a titan at generating value. Maybe his childlike drawings are not that aesthetically pleasing, but Gary Vee’s ability to generate community around an idea is a proven fact. And his drive to win is unmatched. Which characteristics are more important for an NFT project? What are Veefriend’s holders investing in?

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At the moment of writing, Open Sea informs that the floor price for a Veefriend is 18,4 ETH. According to CNN, Veefriends “amasses $70M in sales since launch in May.

ETHUSD price chart for 09/14/2021 - TradingView

ETHUSD price chart for 09/14/2021 - TradingView

ETH price chart for 09/14/2021 on Bitstamp | Source: ETH/USD on

CNN’s First Move Announces Gary Vee/ Christie’s Auction

The man himself, Gary Vee, went on CNN to announce that Veefriend’s original art is to be auctioned by the legendary Christie’s. How much value for his NFT holders did this move create?

When host Isa Soares asked Gary Vee about the reasons behind partnering with Christie’s, besides dedicating the win to his parents, he said:

“Why? Because it elevates the brand. I have people who are watching right now that own the gorilla, own the tiger, own the “you’re gonna die” fly. This is my Disney. This is my Pokemon. This is my character IP based reality and I’m going to build this for the next 40 to 50 years.“

Isn’t that exactly what you want to hear if you’re a Veefriends holder? Commitment. Through a huge platform. Gary Vee ’s community appreciated and understood the impact of the moment, as this video shows:

Another quote from the CNN interview:

“People underestimated this project in the OG NFT-land, and this is another execution that’s not going to allow them to underestimate it anymore.”

In light of the announcement, it’s hard to argue with that.

The Veefriends Are Doing It In Their Own Way

Not everything in NFT-land is about the art. Not everything in the Veefriends is about childlike drawings. As we learned from Bitcoinist’s “The Andy Milonakis NFT Show,” “The NFT world has got its own characteristics, though, and a sense of belonging is one of the main ones. The Bored Apes are part of a Yacht Club. The Gutter Cats are part of a Gang.

Related Reading | New To Bitcoin? Learn To Trade Crypto With The NewsBTC Trading Course

Gary Vee understands this better than everyone. From the Veefriends site:

“VeeFriends are all about utility and access, meaning each NFT will have different levels of access and activities through the smart contract attached with each investment thus giving them “utility” through metadata. Over the last 15 years, he has spent time interacting with hundreds of thousands of people — what VeeFriends will allow will be a structure around these interactions.

The token is the key that unlocks you into Gary’s world.”

The drawings somehow connect to the hundreds of meetings with entrepreneurs young and old that Gary Vee has had through the years. And give you access to that world. The NFT collection is an extension of Gary Vee ‘s work.

There’s just so many ways to do it, and I cheer for them all,” says Gary Vee regarding NFTs. In light of the Christie’s announcement, it’s hard to argue with that.

Featured Image: The five Christie's pieces as per this tweet | Charts by TradingView


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CNN selling historic news ‘moments’ as NFTs

CNN has followed Fox and Time Magazine into the NFT market, announcing the launch of collectible historic moments from the news.

CNN’s NFT project is dubbed “Vault by CNN: Moments That Changed Us” and includes a series of tokenized iconic moments from its 41-year history, along with a vault to purchase, store and display the NFTs.

Vault by CNN: Moments That Changed Us

The news organization has not revealed which specific historic moments will be tokenized, however, it noted that themes including CNN exclusives, notable firsts, world history, and presidential elections, will be covered.

The initial launch will include six weekly drops starting from late June, with CNN teasing the first drops may depict space travel and election results. The NFTs will be sold in a combination of open and limited editions.

The NFTs will be minted on the Flow blockchain, which CNN chose for its energy-efficient proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Flow is also home to NBA Top Shot, which has had huge success selling iconic sporting ‘moments’.

To purchase NFTs, users will need to sign up to CNN’s vault, where they will store their moments. Cryptocurrency is not be required to purchase, with the platform accepting credit cards via third-party payment platform Stripe. The vault’s description reads:

“Until now, there has been no way to ‘collect’ these moments. Users can often find old footage online, or packaged up in documentaries, but they cannot ‘own’ them or display them in the way they can with a print newspaper or magazine.”

CNN has also partnered with video framing firm Infinite Objects so that users will have the option of rendering their NFT onto a screen and displaying it physically offline. The vault’s description reads.

Interestingly CNN’s online archive already boasts 700,000 hours of news content that can already be purchased and downloaded without conferring ‘ownership’.

Despite putting forward ownership as a value proposition of the NFTs, they note that “CNN retains copyright and ownership over the content.”

Related: Want to own an NFT of your favorite movie scene? Soon, you might be able to

A growing number of news outlets and media organizations have entered the NFT market in 2021.

CNN’s move into NFTs follows Fox Corp’s announcement of a $100 million creative fund for NFT content creation yesterday to accompany its animated tv shows.

In late March, Time Magazine entered the market with three tokenized magazine covers on SuperRare, with the “TIME Space Exploration — January 19th, 1959” generating the biggest sale of 135 Ether (ETH) worth around $318,000 at today’s prices.

Since then, Time has dropped another seven NFTs depicting magazine covers, with the “TIME First Issue — March 3, 1923” fetching 120 ETH worth roughly $283,000 in June.