Coinbase, a digital currency exchange headquartered in San Francisco, is planning a massive hiring spree for its newly opened institutional-focused office in New York. Specifically, the firm expects to increase its manpower by more than seven-fold, from its 20 employees to 150 employees next year.
The company’s New York office was officially opened on Thursday and caters to institutional clients. The reason for the location is obvious – the city is considered to be a large hub for institutional investors with keen interests in blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Furthermore, New York is also home to the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), which is the governing body that issues the BitLicense, the common term used for a business license of virtual currency activities, in the country.
The opening of the new office represents a shift in the company’s focus. Previously, retail investors had been the target clients for its operations. However, Coinbase’s head of institutional sales, Christine Sandler, told Coindesk that this new direction wouldn’t conflict with its previous focus.
In fact, she believes that institutional investors are the key to cryptocurrencies becoming mainstream. Specifically, she said: “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.”
Adam White, the 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.”
Coinbase Plans to Expand outside of America
To achieve its goal, the firm needs to bolster its team in New York. During an event on Thursday, which celebrated the opening of Coinbase’s first permanent location in New York White said that New York “is an incredibly deep pool of talent.”
White added: “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.”
A decent portion of Coinbase’s current New York-based team is comprised of former employees of traditional financial institutions, such as the New York Stock Exchange, Barclays, and Citigroup.
Its expansion in New York follows a large hiring spree from the company already. So far this year, Coinbase has been building its team at a fast pace, and the firm now has more than 500 employees across the world. This is despite the bear market which has been dogging the crypto markets this year.
However, New York isn’t the only location where the firm is building up its institutional clients and recruits. In fact, the company is eyeing expansion into Asia and Latin America soon. Earlier this year, FortuneZ reported that Coinbase opened an office in Japan. So far the company has hired a small team and has applied for a Financial Services Agency certification in Japan.
(Photo: Coinbase Founder, Brian Armstrong)