In February, representatives of the largest crypto exchange Coinbase announced their plans to double the staff count from 250 to 500. The goal has been already reached, as Coinbase has over 500 employees on payroll. This growth will be continued, as the exchange has recently opened a new office in New York, currently operating with 20 employees.
Coinbase New York is now officially open. pic.twitter.com/JCe8r392LB
— Michael del Castillo (@DelRayMan) September 13, 2018
The new office has been opened to accommodate and appeal to institutional investors seeking exposure to crypto assets and blockchain technologies. The ribbon cutting ceremony was completed on Thursday, and a series of events and talks were held to introduce institutions to new offers of Coinbase.
Adam White, Vice President and General Manager of Coinbase Institutional, took the lead on the opening day and released a series of presentations. He drew attention to Coinbase’s extensive history, described company’s current state, and shared firm’s future plans:
“When we saw the market begin to correct, which we all expected, institutions didn’t lose interest. It was exactly the opposite. They look at it as an opportunity to enter when things are not too frothy.”
According to Coinbase’s head of institutional sales, Christine Sandler, the office has a security staff comparable to the NYSE’s. Sandler said that Coinbase’s institutional custody, asset management, and trading services shouldn’t be seen as conflicting with its previous focus on retail investors. To the contrary, she believes that institutional distribution is the key to mainstream adoption.
“We want to partner with appropriate institutions to help the whole ecosystem grow. It’s not ‘institutional or retail,’ because a lot of these institutions will be distributors.”
A majority of the current team were recruited from the New York Stock Exchange, Barclays, and Citigroup. According to White, Coinbase will hire additional 150 employees over the course of 2019. Once the New York office is properly staffed, the firm will continue expansion seeking out new horizons. According to the internal sources, Latin America and Asia are next on the list, as both regions are interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Adam White pointed out that the crypto industry is expanding rapidly and gaining traction even in legacy markets. He said:
“New York has an incredibly deep pool of talent… We have to create a bridge between financial services and technology. In order to do that, we need to pull from some of the best and brightest minds that have worked their whole careers in other kinds of traditional financial firms.”
As Coinbase is going to expand its operations globally “pretty quickly”, it has already begun establishing an office in Tokyo this summer, hiring a small team and applying for a Financial Services Agency certification in Japan. In August, Coinbase further strengthened its focus toward institutional investors presenting its ‘institutional core principles’.
Furthermore, the exchange has reportedly begun to consider a crypto-backed ETF, with the aim to establish an exchange-traded fund that will track the price of a variety of assets, likely the five assets already widely available in Coinbase’s ecosystem.