We are all aware of the institutional investors who are targeting crypto-based companies but now the tables are turning. One of the biggest names in the crypto industry, Coinbase, has aggressive growth plans for its newly opened New York office, which caters to institutional clients.
The virtual currency exchange plans to expand the operation to 150 employees next year, from 20 currently. The drop in cryptocurrency prices this year has not stopped institutional demand for this asset class.
Adam White, the general manager of Coinbase Institutional said,
“When we saw the market begin to correct, which we all expected, institutions didn't lose interest, it was exactly the opposite. They look at it as an opportunity to enter when things are not too frothy.”
To make corporate clients satisfied when they visit, the office has a security staff comparable to the NYSE's, according to Coinbase's head of institutional sales, Christine Sandler, who previously worked at the Big Board. Sandler said Coinbase's institutional custody, asset management, and trading services shouldn't be seen as conflicting with its previous focus on retail investors. To the contrary, in her mind, institutional distribution is the key to mainstream adoption.
“We want to partner with appropriate institutions to help the whole ecosystem grow,”
she said. She added:
“It's not ‘institutional or retail,' because a lot of these institutions will be distributors.”
Coinbase as a company has been on a hiring spree all through the 2018 bear market and now has more than 500 employees worldwide. New York isn't the only new office attracting institutional clients and recruits. Coinbase is looking to light up more countries and more fiat rails with an eye on expansion in Asia and Latin America pretty quickly. They have already started work on their Tokyo office and have filed for a Financial Services Agency certification in Japan.