Coinbase Transitions to a Fully Decentralized Company After Switching to ‘Remote-First’

  • Coinbase is transitioning to a decentralized company, moving its headquarters from San Francisco, as most of its employees relocated due to the current global pandemic.

The global COVID 19 pandemic has changed completely how businesses operate as most companies allowed their employees to start working from home. Such is the case with the U.S. largest crypto exchange, Coinbase, who announced they would be transitioning to a decentralized company after nine months of working as a remote-first company.

According to a Coinbase blog post, most of the workforce currently operates from locations away from San Francisco and across the world. Over the past year or so, nearly 250 employees have relocated to other places globally, 150 of them moving from San Francisco, representing 21% of the exchange’s global employees and 29% of the San-Francisco workforce.

Notwithstanding, Coinbase recruits also select to work away from the Californian city. Nearly 52% of the new employees joining the firm since March have been working from home. Additionally, over 95% of the employees on the exchange will have an option to work from home, in an office, or a mix of both, once Coinbase is safe to return to in-person working conditions.

In Q1 of 2020, only 28% of new employees lived outside of California. From Q1 of 2021 to date, 58% of new hires are from outside of the state.

So far, Coinbase ensures that every employee still benefits in professional growth despite working from home. The exchange provides new avenues for employees to connect, including virtual offices, social media meetings, and 1:1 coffee stipends. The exchange also invests in its employees' personal training by deploying virtual, on-demand, and live onboarding and learning methodologies.

While the exchange will continue to provide offices for their employees, the post stated, “designating one location as [the] headquarters feels counter to our culture.” Decentralization has been the game-changer in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, and Coinbase is looking to build on the benefits decentralization offers, the post further stated.

“Forgoing a formal headquarters is also more in line with the spirit of crypto, built on the inherent benefits of decentralization.”

Despite becoming a decentralized company, Coinbase will not tire in its efforts in its regulatory, legal, and compliance obligations to its customers. However, having one single headquarters office “does not make sense for a remote-first Coinbase” and hence the move to decentralization.

Since becoming decentralized, Coinbase employees have overwhelmingly responded positively to the remote-first outlay. Over 94% of the employees believe that the benefits of remote-first outweigh the drawbacks or that the benefits and drawbacks balance each other out. This has also allowed them to attract top talent to the company as employees can be hired from anywhere in the world.

Finally, Coinbase managers and executives will follow the decentralization path, even after people safely return to offices. None of the executive team currently lives in San Francisco, and they “have no plans to be in the office regularly,” the post further reads.

Coinbase is still completing the process to list as a public company on Nasdaq with the exchange valued at $100 billion through a private market sale earlier in the month.

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