Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Just four months ago, Coinbase reportedly spent $14 million on a Super Bowl ad that consisted almost entirely of a colorful QR code bouncing around the screen, pointing viewers to a website where they could get $15 in Bitcoin just by signing up. Now, its fortunes have turned so sharply that it will lay off about 1,100 employees, or 18 percent of its workforce, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a post on the company blog, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong first blamed changing economic conditions that may lead to a “crypto winter” and waited until his third bullet point to mention that the company has “over-hired,” citing its attempt to take advantage of “new use cases enabled by crypto getting traction…

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