Coinbase closes its Chicago division, lays off 30 staff
In May 2018, Coinbase announced the opening of an office in Chicago as part of its ambitious plan to expand its service offerings and exploit the city’s financial expertise. Now, however, the company has announced it's abandoning those plans and laying off 30 engineers.
The Chicago division, known as Coinbase Markets, was dedicated to the creation of sophisticated electronic markets technologies such as matching engines and high-frequency trading for crypto.
A Coinbase spokesperson told CoinDesk:
“To become the ‘Google of crypto’ we have to be comfortable making big bets. Some of them will be audacious and some of them won’t work out.”
Coinbase Markets opened to much excitement last year. A blog post at the time explained that the Chicago office would provide “access to a large talent pool of engineers with deep exchange infrastructure experience” and “enable us to continue offering the most performant and reliable cryptocurrency exchange.”
The spokesperson added that a handful of the Chicago engineers not associated with the matching engine will remain with Coinbase. Further, Coinbase has stated it would be looking into relocating several of the matching engine employees to San Francisco.
The spokesperson stated that the technology developed by Coinbase Markets will remain with Coinbase and may be integrated into the company’s technology;
“The team built some amazing technology and it could be used to influence the future development of our matching engine.”
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