Coinbase to set up a physical office in Hyderabad as it enters India

By Sandeep Soni | The Financial Express

April 1, 2021

The largest US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase with over 43 million verified clients will be setting up its physical office initially in Hyderabad as it prepares to establish its business presence in India. The move has come amid the regulatory uncertainty surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Coinbase, which is planning to go public through a direct listing, will be “housing some IT services, including engineering, software development and customer support operations in India” and will “benefit from its huge pool of world-class engineering talent,” the company announced recently. Launched in 2012, the company is reportedly valued at $68 billion ahead of the Nasdaq listing.

“It could be a normal outsourcing operation for Coinbase. There are already many exchanges working in India based on the outsourcing model. India has one of the best pools of blockchain engineers in the world. It makes sense for Coinbase to be in India as the crypto volume in India is huge. Even as the government has said that it is not closing all options, I think there will be a sensible policy by India,” Mathew Chacko, Partner at law firm Spice Route Legal told Financial Express Online.

Coinbase is also looking to hire in India along with other countries including the US, UK, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Canada, and the Philippines. Senior backend engineer, software engineer, staff software engineer, engineering manager, and product manager are the five open positions in India. “India has long been known as a hub for engineering and technology innovation, and we look forward to finding that world-class talent to help the Coinbase group develop new ways for our customers to interact with the cryptoeconomy,” the company said.

As per industry estimates, there are over 7.5 million crypto investors holding around $1.5 billion in investments. “The moment market opens up and India makes crypto rules, Coinbase will be ready. Other players are also very well poised for growth,” added Chacko. The government had last week made it mandatory for companies in India dealing with virtual currencies to disclose profit or loss incurred on crypto transactions, the amount of cryptos they hold, and deposits or advances from any person for the purpose of trading or investing in cryptocurrency in their balance sheets.

Coinbase CEO and Co-founder Brian Armstrong had in December last year cautioned crypto investors of the inherent ‘risk’ in bitcoin. “We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to understand that investing in crypto is not without risk. For one, crypto can be a volatile asset class — often more so than the types of traditional financial instruments that most investors are used to. For example, this means that the market can move in either direction much faster than equity markets,” Armstrong had said in a company blog post.

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