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Coinbase to close down San Francisco headquarters in remote-first policy

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  • Coinbase to shut down its San Francisco office in 2022.
  • This is to eliminate the labeling of some offices as unofficial. 

Coinbase Global Inc, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the US has disclosed it will close down its San Francisco office in 2022. This means employees will continue to work from home.

According to the company, closing the SF office will bring equal importance to all the Coinbase working places to eliminate the labeling of some offices as unofficial. The company further stated that career outcomes are anchored on capabilities and output, not location. The company does not intend to discourage operations from any office at all, but to create smaller offices across the world and allow workers to work from there if they choose.

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This announcement comes a year after the company’s CEO, Brian Armstrong publicly notified all stakeholders about their post-Covid-19 remote-first decision. “After the restrictions of quarantine are over, Coinbase will embrace being ‘remote-first,’ meaning we will offer the option to work in an office or remotely for the vast majority of,” he said.

The workplace of the future

Armstrong revealed that the decision is both practical and strategic. As countries have emerged from quarantine, they intend to effect the Covid-19 measures by maintaining the six feet social distance between workers. However, the company will not have spaces available for all current SF employees – more so as it adds more workers – even if they occupy every floor in the building. This places the company on the path of innovation and makes them an extension of the values of cryptocurrency.

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For the strategic reason, Armstrong stated that the company has in the past few years partially practiced remote work. According to him, there has been an experiment to fully establish its remote-first policy. Coinbase has a vision of pushing for a world of more economic freedom, and to discourage tying people to one location.

Their previous experiment has established that remote work is an option that top talents across the globe will expect from employers. Also, there are no explicit or implicit advantages of operating from a particular location.

Armstrong also stated that the company plans on having one floor of office space in ten cities rather than ten floors of office spaces in one city. The company recently went public to mark its success in the crypto space over the years.

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It is important to note that Binance has taken a similar approach by shutting down its Shanghai head office and asking employees to work remotely. In a statement, CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) explained that Offices and Headquarters are old concepts like SMS and MMS in this fast-moving world.

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Grayscale

Grayscale’s Top Executive Joins Robinhood as New Chief Compliance Officer

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Robinhood hires a new CCO, the chief compliance officer of Grayscale

Robinhood brokerage app has welcomed Benjamin Melnicki as a new Chief Compliance Officer, who is also the holder of the same position at Grayscale Investments. He joined Grayscale in early January this year.

At the moment, Robinhood’s cryptocurrency arm is facing scrutiny from financial regulators. Last year, Robinhood was a target of an investigation connected to anti money laundering and certain cybersecurity problems experiences by its crypto division.

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As reported by U.Today previously, later this year, the brokerage firm plans to roll out cryptocurrency wallets for its users. The trials of wallets will kick off in October and will allow customers to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies to addresses beyond Robinhood seamlessly.

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Crypto Exchange

Average Aussie crypto portfolio grew 258% in FY 20-21, survey reveals

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The average portfolio size on Australian cryptocurrency exchange BTC Markets has grown from $577.65 (795.5 Australian dollars) to $2,069.16 (2849.5 AUD) in the financial year 2021, signaling a 258.2% increase in portfolio holdings, according to exchange data compiled by Statista on a recent BTC Markets survey.

Data on the survey shows that the average portfolio size of female and male investors in fiscal 20-21 on BTC Markets was $1,924.30 (2,650 AUD) and $2,214.03 (3,049 AUD), respectively. However, in 2020, the average portfolio size of female Aussie investors exceeded male investors slightly. 

Transaction data on the exchange also showed a pattern of growing investment demand with aging. Considering the data provided by BTC Market on Australia’s average initial investment, investors above 65 years old have invested roughly $3,158.03, the highest ofall demographics.

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Following an incremental reduction across the various age groups, the youngest cryptocurrency traders, ranging from 18 to 24 years, tend to make comparatively small investments, standing at $792.96 on average. While older Australian crypto investors outweigh the new generation in initial investment, the younger crowd shows comparatively more activity in terms of daily trades.

Resonating the findings above, a September report from financial comparison website Finder shows that one in six Australians own cryptocurrencies, amounting to $8 billion in total investment. The report suggests that, like many other users in advanced industrialized countries, Australians were increasingly viewing cryptocurrencies as a new asset class. 

According to Cointelegraph’s report on the matter, Bitcoin (BTC) is the most popular cryptocurrency for the Australian crypto market held by 9% of investors. Other popular investments include Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The report showed that, despite the growth in crypto investments, a significant barrier to entry for Australians is the difficulty in understanding crypto and the risks related to volatility.

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Switzerland to Impose Anti-Money Laundering Rules on Crypto Providers: Report

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FINMA requires all cryptocurrency providers to step up their game and monitor whether criminals use digital assets in illicit transactions.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority – FINMA – would reportedly require local digital asset providers to take additional steps in preventing criminals from employing cryptocurrencies. The watchdog would also turn its sight towards bitcoin ATMs as it believes that drug dealers often use these machines.

FINMA Targets Criminals Operating with Crypto

According to a Finews report, Switzerland’s financial regulator – the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority or simply FINMA – would closely supervise local crypto providers as an attempt to clamp down on money-laundering transactions.

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Swiss platforms and brokers dealing with digital assets would have to enhance their monitoring efforts and observe if bad actors employ cryptocurrencies. The Bern-based watchdog believes the initiative is “urgently necessary,” stressing that criminals use the asset class even to fund terrorism acts.

FINMA also turned its attention towards bitcoin automated teller machines. According to the regulator, drug dealers frequently use such ATMs as payment systems. It is worth noting that Switzerland is a relatively small nation, but its 130 Bitcoin automated teller machines place it in the sixth position among the countries with the most stations.

FINMA also passed an anti-money laundering provision according to which it lowered the threshold for unidentified crypto purchases from 5,000 Swiss Francs (CHF) to 1,000 CHF (around $1,080). Or, in other words, all financial providers dealing with digital assets have to collect data on anyone initiating transactions that exceed this amount.

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UBS: Crypto Regulations Could Spell Trouble

One of the leading banks in Switzerland – UBS – recently shared its views on the hot topic of digital asset regulations as it indicated that implementing certain rules might negatively impact the market.

Furthermore, the bank warned its customers that regulatory crackdowns can pop the “bubble-like” crypto markets. The Swiss bank also labeled the asset class as “speculative” alerting that it could be dangerous for professional investors:

“While we can’t rule out future price gains in cryptos, we see this as a speculative market that poses significant risks to professional investors.”

On another note, though, when the cryptocurrency market was booming at the beginning of May, UBS demonstrated a different attitude. Back then, it intended to enable its wealthy customers to receive digital asset exposure later in 2021 through third-party vehicles.

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