US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on Thursday announced that it was establishing its business in India and hiring local talent. The San Francisco, California-based company that is popular for offering a platform to sell cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum also revealed that it wanted to open a physical office in the country. The new move by Coinbase comes amid speculations around a cryptocurrency ban in India. The government is also due to introduce a bill called “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021” that is aimed to prohibit the use of “all private cryptocurrencies” in the country.
Coinbase said in a blog post that it was planning to run its backend in India by establishing engineering, software development, and customer support operations for people who want to buy and sell cryptocurrency.
“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.
Coinbase is planning to enable a remote-first environment for its local employees in the country, but it does want to open a physical office that could initially be set up in Hyderabad.
Coinbase has also posted tens of openings on LinkedIn that are specifically to hire Indian talent. There are positions starting from backend engineers to engineering and product managers.
“Along with active hiring in the US, UK, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Canada and the Philippines, establishing a presence in India is another important step to building more geographic diversity in our remote-first workforce,” Coinbase noted in the blog post.
Coinbase’s announcement about its establishment in India comes at a time when the government said to propose the cryptocurrency ban and penalise miners and traders of popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das last month said that the central bank had “major concerns” over cryptocurrencies. The government was also planning to table the bill specifically to impose restrictions on private cryptocurrency transactions in the country.
Coinbase is, notably, working towards hiring talent in India to expand its backend operations. However, that doesn’t translate to any plans to grow its market or expand its traderbase.
But nonetheless, many cryptocurrency experts do see India as an important market. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — along with American rapper Shawn Corey Carter (famously known as Jay-Z) — recently announced the launch of a new endowment called Btrust that would aim at growing Bitcoin development in India. Startups including cryptocurrency investment platform CoinSwitch Kuber are also projecting to bring millions of new Indian users on board in the coming future.
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