Popular Cryptocurrency Exchange, Coinbase, has decided to shut down its’ Chicago unit, sacking about 30 jobs in the process. The Coinbase office in Chicago, Coinbase Markets, was focused towards developing sophisticated high-speed trading modules, HFT or High-Frequency Trading.
Coinbase President and COO, Asiff Hirji, cited that:
“Coinbase is focused on a growing business with financial institutions like hedge funds, endowments and family offices, rather than serving high-speed traders.”
An Array of Erratic Decisions?
Earlier this month Coinbase had announced that the Chicago office is working on a new matching engine that was expected to be rolled out sometime by the end of Q2 2019. The new matching engine was being built in anticipation to support HFT in the “next super major run-up.”
The San Fransico based office of Coinbase Markets had already designed a new module which is twenty times faster than the mechanism followed during 2017 when there were slowdowns and maintenance issues during surge times. Hence, the Chicago base camp of the same unit might have been causing redundancy and excessive operational cost. Moreover, the opening of the unit, in the first place, can be jotted down as a wrong move made by the exchange.
The Chicago office was opened in May 2018 and had 30 engineers working on designing HFT trading modules. Reportedly, the employees had been hired from CME Group Inc. and high-speed trading firm Jump Trading LLC.
Moreover, Coinbase has more than 600 employees worldwide. It has recently, announced an expansion of crypto-to-crypto services to 11 new locations including India. Coinbase has also launched a variety of products catered to institutional investors through Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Custody.
Reportedly, a spokesperson for Coinbase told the media that:
“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.”
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