The San Francisco-based digital asset exchange Coinbase has been a staple of the American crypto industry pretty much since its inception. Back in February, the company said it was likely to double its staff from 250 to 500 by the end of the year. However, even during extremely bearish market conditions, it took Coinbase only a couple of months to reach the employee milestone and it seems the growth is poised to continue.
The company has recently opened its NYC office in Wall Street, with a focus on institutional investors. The opening represents somewhat of a shift in the policy of Coinbase that previously mainly targeted retail investors. According to Christine Sandler, head of institutional sales at Coinbase, institutional investors are a key element towards achieving mass adoption, as, “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.“
Coinbase New York is now officially open. pic.twitter.com/JCe8r392LB
— Michael del Castillo (@DelRayMan) September 13, 2018
Adam White, general manager of Coinbase Institutional added that “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.“
The NYC office currently hosts 20 employees, most of them lured from such Wall Street stalwarts, as Barclay’s, Citigroup or New York Stock Exchange. However, an aggressive growth strategy is in the plans already, as the exchange hopes to increase its New York staff by more than seven-fold, to 150 employees next year. Mr. White claimed that experience in traditional realm of finance was vital when choosing the new employees, citing the need to “create a bridge between financial services and technology.“
Back in June, Coinbase launched its Japanese arm, opening an office in Tokyo. Led by a former investment banker and a highly-respected fintech industry figure Nao Kitazawa, the Coinbase Japan team is currently working with Japanese Financial Services Agency, to get the regulatory approval.
Earlier this month, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong talked with TechCrunch, about his vision for the company. Even though the company currently offers trading of only four virtual currencies (BTC, ETH, BCH, and LTC) that number could potentially skyrocket into thousands further down the road.
Armstrong believes that “Every open source project, every charity, potentially every fund or these new types of decentralized organizations and apps, they’re all going to have their own tokens. We want to be the bridge all over the world where people come and they take fiat currency and they can get it into these different cryptocurrencies.“
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