Coinbase expansion plans in India include hiring ‘hundreds’ of engineers and exploring startup acquisitions

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Coinbase expansion plans in India include hiring ‘hundreds’ of engineers and exploring startup acquisitions
CoinbaseCoinbase
  • Coinbase is setting up a new office in India and expanding its local team.
  • The crypto exchange plans to recruit ‘hundreds’ of engineers as well as hire for the product, design and human resources teams.
  • Startup acquisitions and acquihires are on the books as well.
Crypto exchange Coinbase just went public three months ago, and now it’s looking to expand its footprint in one of the most populous countries in the world, India. It has big plans to hire, acquire and make the South Asian country one of its primary hubs.


The chief executive (CEO) of the company, Brian Armstrong, recently tweeted that Coinbase is already building its office out of the country — in Hyderabad — and looking to add to its local team.

This includes adding ‘hundreds’ of engineers while also recruiting for the human resources, design, user experience and product management teams. According to the blog post by the vice president of engineering in India, Pankaj Gupta, these new hires will be among the “topmost talent available anywhere in the world.”
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We have ambitious plans for this hub in the near future — we want to hire hundreds of world class engineers in the near term.

Blog post by Pankaj Gupta, the VP of Engineering and Site Lead in India for Coinbase

Anyone who ends up at Coinbase will receive a one-time $1000 in crypto as a part of the company's new program called CIkka — pronounced ‘ sikka’.

The news comes after the crypto exchange announced that it’s working on an app store, that will work like Apple’s App Store, for decentralised apps (DApps).

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Coinbase wants to be as local as possible

Even though Coinbase is currently based out of Delaware in the US, its teams in India will be led by independent directors. They will have the autonomy to make decisions as per the local context and requirements.

The company is ‘remote-first,’ so they’re open to hiring all over India, not just in Hyderabad where they’re setting up shop.

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In addition to the robust hiring, Coinbase hasn’t ruled out acquiring up and coming startups. The company has asked interested founders to reach out to Gupta so that their ideas can be discussed further.

India’s crypto hype and FUD

Cryptocurrencies were a red hot investment asset for Indians during the pandemic. Blockchain data analysis company Chainalysis estimates that Indian investments into cryptocurrency rose from $923 at the end of April last year to a whopping $6.6 billion by May 2021 — that’s a massive 615% jump.

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But, this also brought in more scrutiny from the government. While there is no official ban on cryptocurrencies in India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) continues to frown on it.

Risk-averse banks, in turn, are hesitant to allow customers to exchange their rupees into cryptocurrencies. Since major payment gateways — like Razorpay, PayU and BillDesk — are dependent on these banks, they have had to sever ties with crypto exchanges.

As a result, exchanges in the country are currently on the hunt for payment gateways that will allow conversion. WazirX and CoinSwitch Kuber, for instance, have currently partnered with Mumbai-based Airpay for instance transfers. Most exchanges offer alternatives like peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions or manual settlement — but those may not necessarily be an option for most users.

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Coinbase’s entry into the Indian market could lend some authority to crypto community camps with the Indian government mulling over new crypto laws and taxes.

For a more in-depth discussion, come on over to Business Insider Cryptosphere — a forum where users can deep dive into all things crypto, engage in interesting discussions and stay ahead of the curve.


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