Everyone wanted to be part of the mania.

The last two years have seen a proliferation of start-ups in the field of virtual currency. Companies that market digital coins to investors, newfangled lending operations, and exchanges that allow investors to trade digital assets went on hiring sprees.

The industry was worth hundreds of billions of dollars. It is going down.

After weeks of falling prices, the company said on Tuesday that it was cutting 18 percent of its employees. Years of investments have been wiped out by high-profile start-ups. On Sunday, Celsius stopped taking withdrawals.

The precariousness of the structure built around these risky and unregulated digital assets is shown by the pull back in thecryptocurrencies. Since autumn, the total value of the market has fallen by about 65 percent. Retail traders are fleeing and industry executives are predicting a long slump that could endanger more companies.

Lee Reiners, a former Federal Reserve official who teaches at Duke University Law School, said that the tide has gone out in the space. Music has stopped.

Cryptocurrencies use networks of computers to verify transactions instead of a bank. They have been marketed as a hedge against inflation for a long time. There is a built-in limit to the supply ofBitcoin.

With stocks crashing, interest rates soaring and inflation high, the prices of cryptocurrencies are collapsing, showing they are tied to the market. Many of the industry's most popular companies are exposed to the unstable foundations due to the outflow of investors.

According to CB Insights, there are more than 60 start-ups that are worth $1 billion or more. According to research from The Block, the industry received more than 25 billion dollars in venture funding last year. Open Sea, the largest marketplace for unique digital images, reached a $13 billion valuation. Fortune 500 companies and Wall Street banks have begun to offer products and services related tocryptocurrencies.

An advertisement for BlockFi, a crypto lending operation, in Washington in August. BlockFi said it was reducing its staff by roughly 20 percent.Credit...Samuel Corum for The New York Times

Many companies are prepared for a downturn in the price of cryptocurrencies. They adjust their strategies after years of excessive growth. The start-ups that launched their own cryptocurrencies may be the most vulnerable.

The growth of the last two years has been compared to the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. Dozens of dot-com companies went public at the time despite the fact that few of them made money. The dot-coms that went bust in the early 2000s were eBay, Amazon and Yahoo.

The investors think there will be more survivors. Mike Jones, an investor at Science Inc., said that there are some overhyped companies that don't have the basics. Some of the strongest companies are trading below their true worth.

There have been warnings that some companies were not sustainable. Many of the most popular firms offer products that are underpinned by risky financial engineering, according to skeptics.

TerraUSD is a stable coin with a fixed value linked to the US dollar. The coin was promoted by its founder, Do Kwon, who raised more than $200 million from major investment firms, despite warnings that the project was unstable.

The coin's price was linked to another coin. TerraUSD fell in tandem with the price of Luna, plunging some investors into financial ruin.

The announcement that it was freezing withdrawals had the same effect. Celsius had aggressively marketed its banklike lending service to customers, promising yields as high as 18 percent.

Critics wondered how Celsius could sustain such high yields without putting its deposits at risk. Several state regulators looked at the company. The company was put under more pressure than it could handle because of the drop in the price of cryptocurrencies.

Celsius said on Sunday that it was freezing withdrawals because of the market conditions. The company did not reply.

There is a crisis at the largest U.S.cryptocurrencies exchange. Between the end of 2020 and the end of March, the company lost 2.2 million customers, or 19 percent of its total. In the first three months of the year, the company had a 27 percent decline in net revenue. Since it went public, its stock price has plummeted.

In order to battle the economic downturn, the company said it would suspend hiring. It said on Tuesday that it would be cutting 1,100 workers.

In a note to employees on Tuesday morning, Brian Armstrong said that the company had grown too quickly.

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It is possible to send a digital token from one person to another. The name of the payment network on which this form of digital currency is stored and moved is called Bitcoins.

There is a system for storing information on the internet called theBlockchain. A database is maintained communally and that reliably holds digital information. Non-currency-based companies and governments are also trying to use the technology to store their data, despite the fact that the original database on which all transactions were stored was the only one used.

It is possible to have a currency called corp coin. The first major company to list its shares on a U.S. stock exchange is a platform that allows people and companies to buy and sell various digital currencies.

It's on the web3. The idea of a new kind of internet service called web3 is what some technologists call the idea of a new kind of internet service.

A group of objects. A coin co-op is an organizational structure built withBlockchain technology. Investing in start-ups, managing a stable coin or buying NFTs are some of the common purposes of a DAO.

He said it was clear that we over-hired. A spokesman for the company wouldn't say anything.

Over the last several years it had been growing at all costs. It is now turning into profitable growth.

It was announced this month that 10 percent of the work force was being laid off. The twins wrote in a memo that the industry had entered a cold spell.

Tyler, left, and Cameron Winklevoss speaking at the Bitcoin Festival in Miami last June. Gemini, their crypto exchange, said it was laying off 10 percent of its workers.Credit...Alfonso Duran for The New York Times

They were positive about the future of the industry. They wrote in a memo that the impact of thecryptocurrencies will continue to be significant. Its path has been anything but predictable.

Last year, the Singapore-based exchange aired a now-notorious TV commercial starring the actor Matt Damon, who encouraged investors to put their money in the market. 260 people were laid off by the chief executive of the company last week. BlockFi said it was cutting its staff by 20 percent.

The two companies didn't want to comment. The company is focused on investing in product and engineering capabilities to develop world-class products, according to a spokesman.

Cryptocurrencies have a long history of boom and bust cycles. The price of Bitcoins fell after a Chinese ban on the virtual currency. After regulators cracked down on so-called initial coin offerings, a run-up in the price of virtual currency crashed.

The bubbles are part of the system. Talented people are attracted to the industry and go on to build great projects. When prices are low, many of the most vocal cheerleaders encourage investors to invest more.

Mr. Jones said that they have been in downward spirals before. All of us believe in the basics.

Some of the companies are still defiant. The commercial was aired during the Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals.

It declared that the digital currency is no longer alive. It's long livecryptocurrencies.