Amid Brexit Uncertainties, Coinbase Announces a New Dublin Office

Coinbase has announced the opening of a new office in Dublin. The decision to move shop to the famed Irish city may be part of a plan to hedge Brexit uncertainty by expanding the company’s presence across Europe.


San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase continues to expand its presence across Europe. October 15th the company said on are opening a new office in Dublin Ireland after considering a number of locales across the European Union.

Coinbase made the announcement through a Tweet and a blog post by Vice President of Operations and Technology, Tina Bhatnagar. According to Bhatnagar, the Dublin office will allow Coinbase to “[…] tap into the city’s diverse talent pool and long-standing support for technological innovation.”

Bhatnagar noted that the exchange is currently hiring for roles in the new office. Team members will be complimenting current Coinbase operations in London, and will also play host to new business-related functions.

As of press time, the Coinbase careers page lists a handful of open positions located in Dublin. These include opportunities as Support Analyst, Compliance Manager, and Sr. Product Manager.

Dublin

Hedging Bets In A Post-Brexit World?

Coinbase U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz made a point to say the expansion to Ireland was part of a strategy to “better service our customers.” Feroz told CNBC through a phone interview that the European Union was the company’s “most significant market outside the U.S.”

However, some speculate the decision by Coinbase might be part of a plan to offset the ramifications of Brexit by boosting their presence across the European continent.

According to CNBC, Feroz thought the uncertainty surrounding Brexit “played some part in the decision.”

He explained how the company believes Ireland was a good spot for expansion since it is a growing technological hub, home to a range of talent, and an English speaking nation.

Staff Shakeups Continue At Coinbase

The decision by Coinbase to open up a Dublin office and seek out some new talent is another sign the company is looking to increase their clout and even shake up personnel if necessary.

In early September, Bitcoinist reported that the Coinbase had managed to double their staff while hitting their 2018 hiring target.

Earlier in the year, Coinbase opened up an office in Portland, Oregon and hired new workers after coming face to face with a flurry of criticism for not being prepared on the customer service front.

More recently, the company announced the departure of Adam White, Coinbase’s fifth employee. Around the same time, Charles Schwab Board of Directors Member Chris Dodds was introduced as the newest member of the Coinbase Board.

What do you think about Coinbase’s decision to select Dublin as the location for a new office? Let us know in the comments below!


Images and media courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Twitter (@Coinbase).

Why Investors are Highly Optimistic in Acquisition of Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange

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On October 12, CCN reported that BK Global Consortium, the parent company of Singapore-based BK Medical Group, has acquired a 50 percent stake in Bithumb, South Korea’s largest crypto exchange.

Kim Byung-gun, a prominent plastic surgeon and blockchain investor, finalized the deal between BK Global Consortium and Bithumb, officially acquiring the leading cryptocurrency trading platform at a valuation of $350 million.

Investors Highly Optimistic in the Deal

For many years, despite three high profile security breaches that have led to the loss of tens of millions of dollars in user funds, Bithumb has been able to secure its position as the most dominant digital asset trading platform in South Korea alongside Upbit.

In late 2017, Dunamu, a subsidiary of Kakao, the largest Internet conglomerate in the country that has over 80 percent market share in fintech, payments, online stock brokerage, ride-hailing, and messaging, launched Upbit to compete against Bithumb and Korbit.

Currently, Upbit is engaging in a tight competition against Bithumb, often demonstrating a higher daily trading volume possibly due to its listing of more than 100 cryptocurrencies.

But, the sophisticated platform of Upbit, that has been audited several times for transparency and investor protection, has not been enough to overtake Bithumb and its loyal user base.

Korea Bitcoin

The majority of investors in South Korea remain highly optimistic in the acquisition of Bithumb by BK Global Consortium because with the deal, now every major cryptocurrency exchange in the country is operated by large-scale conglomerates.

Upbit is run by Kakao, Gopax is run by the country’s largest commercial bank Shinhan, Korbit is run by $15 billion Nexon, and Bithumb is operated by BK.

One commonality amongst major cryptocurrency exchanges operated by leading multi-billion dollar conglomerates is that none of the platforms have experienced security breaches and successful hacking attempts. Korbit, Upbit, and Gopax have not been hacked in their entirety, because of their focus on security and investor protection.

For conglomerates in South Korea, it is of utmost importance to protect their name value and brand image due to the psychology of local investors. More often than not, when a local conglomerate begins to demonstrate a downtrend and loses the support of local consumers, it fails to survive in the long run.

With the involvement of BK, investors are anticipating a re-established focus on security, internal system management, and overall improvement in investor protection, which will help legitimize the cryptocurrency exchange market of South Korea.

Prior to the acquisition of Bithumb by BK, the publicly listed exchange was owned and operated by a talent agency and a couple of non-finance related businesses, which led investors to speculate that the exchange was being forced to maximize profits at the cost of security and system stability.

What Investors Can Expect Next

Binance and Upbit have recently announced their plans to expand to the cryptocurrency exchange market of Singapore, subsequent to the decision of the government to provide stable banking services to crypto-related businesses and develop the local blockchain industry.

Given the strong connections of BK with the Singaporean market, investors are expecting Bithumb to expand its services to Singapore in the months to come.

Images from Shutterstock

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Winklevoss-Owned Bitcoin Exchange ‘Gemini’ Adds Litecoin Trading Pairs

On Friday, October 12, 2018, Gemini announced the addition of Litecoin (LTC) to its trading catalog. Litecoin becomes the fourth cryptocurrency added to the Winklevoss-owned platform.


NYSDFS Approval for Litecoin Trading on Gemini

Eric Winer, the platform’s VP of Engineering announced the news via a post on the company’s Medium account. According to the announcement, customers will be able to deposit LTC into their trading accounts from Saturday, October 13th, 2018, while trading commences the following Monday, October 16, from 9:30 am EDT.

With the addition of Litecoin, Gemini now boasts four cryptocurrencies on its trading catalog. LTC will also be available for trading with the other three virtual currencies — Bitcoin (BTC) 00, Ether, and Zcash, as well as an LTC/USD trading pair.

While announcing the news, Winer also noted the platform’s commitment to complying with the standards set by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), saying:

Gemini continues to grow with a “security-first” approach, and we have worked closely with the NYSDFS to gain approval for Litecoin trading and custody services. We are excited to provide our customers with a safe, secure, and compliant method to buy, sell, and store these digital assets.

Bitcoin Cash Support Postponed

The blog post further revealed that Gemini planned to announce Bitcoin Cash support together with the addition of LTC trading pairs. However, the Winklevoss-owned platform says it will postpone such plans given the confusion over a likely BCH hard fork coming in November.

At the time of writing this article, the announcement was only a few hours old — but there was already a slight increase in LTC price following the announcement. Litecoin is down more than 83 percent since the start of the year and is currently ranked seventh based on market capitalization.

For Litecoin, the addition by Gemini follows a similar listing by cryptocurrency prime dealer SFOX in September. In a recent interview with the platform, LTC creator, Charlie Lee opined that the cryptocurrency’s relevance as the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold” is still as relevant today as it was when he envisioned Litecoin.

Lee also described the emerging cryptocurrency movement as laying the groundwork for what he called “sound money” — immutable, censorship-resistant, and free from inflation. Lee, however, admitted that presently only Bitcoin and perhaps Litecoin and Monero closely embodied the principles of sound money.

Will Litecoin price experience a resurgence on the back of Gemini’s listing? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of CoinMarketCap, Gemini, Shutterstock, Twitter (@GeminiTrust).