Coinbase, the number one digital asset brokerage in the US, is looking to expand its presence in Asia. Specifically, the US broker is looking to recruit new employees by the hundreds in India. The exchange is offering a $1,000 signing bonus for all its new Indian hires, a substantial sum compared to the country’s median income.
India and its conflicted relationship with digital assets
In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had banned local financial institutions from serving cryptocurrency companies. This ban on feeding crypto exchanges with fiat currency forced some players to leave the country. Nevertheless, the country’s Supreme Court had reversed this decision in May 2020.
In June 2021, it was the turn of a local newspaper to reveal that a government task force was studying the possibility of making Bitcoin and crypto-currencies a full-fledged asset class. The latest news is that the Indian government is also considering specific taxation for digital assets from abroad. Thus, the RBI seems to be the only barrier to large-scale adoption of digital assets in India.
Coinbase launches Coinbase India Sikka (CIkka) project
Back in March 2021, Coinbase announced plans to open a hub in Hyderabad, India, despite the potential ban on cryptos in the country. But it wasn’t until July 2 that Coinbase published a blog post, written by Pankaj Gupta, the company’s Vice President of Engineering and Head of India Hub. Gupta joined Coinbase 2 months ago “to establish and lead a new technology hub for Coinbase in India.”
“Our technology hub in India is still in its infancy, but it has already taken off due to the incredible interest in our open positions across India. We have ambitious plans for this hub in the near future – we want to hire hundreds of world-class engineers in the short term. This engineering team will be complemented by product and design teams of equal quality, as well as support functions such as recruiting and human resources, to create a sustainable and comprehensive technology hub.”Pankaj Gupta
To achieve this ambitious goal, Coinbase has launched a new program called “CIkka” – an abbreviation for “Coinbase India Sikka.” Under it, the company will offer each new employee a one-time payment of $1,000 in cryptos.
Gupta said Coinbase wants to create locally led teams for all the major areas the company is currently working in – which include building IT infrastructure, cloud platforms, payment solutions, blockchain, data engineering and machine learning.
In addition, the San Francisco-based company is looking to continue its expansion in India through the acquisition of startups. Due to its leading position in the digital asset market, Coinbase has a very aggressive acquisition policy. This allows the company to expand its strategic scope without having to develop products internally, as with the acquisition of data analysis service Skew. But above all, the company can take advantage of this to acquire new talent from its acquisition targets.